Wednesday 17 October 2018

Irish M&A deals grow but values fall sharply

'The cumulative sum of money involved has fallen from €51.1bn to €22.6bn' (stock photo)
'The cumulative sum of money involved has fallen from €51.1bn to €22.6bn' (stock photo)
Gavin McLoughlin

Gavin McLoughlin

The number of announced mergers and acquisitions (M&A) with Irish involvement has increased by 8.5pc this year, though the sum of money involved in the deals has declined substantially.

The figures are revealed in statistics prepared for the Irish Independent by business intelligence service Thomson Reuters.

The figures say that in the year to October 26, there have been 320 deals announced, compared to 295 in the same period last year. However, the cumulative sum of money involved has fallen from €51.1bn to €22.6bn.

An industry source said the slowdown was fuelled in large part by a crackdown on so-called "inversion" deals by the US Treasury.

A plan for Pfizer to merge with Allergan was scuppered by these rules, though the largest deal (in monetary terms) with Irish involvement last year - the €25bn merger of Johnson Controls with Cork-based Tyco - was not.

Ireland has been a beneficiary of these transactions which would see large foreign companies domicile themselves here in order to benefit from Ireland's tax regimes, even though the size of their operations here may have been relatively small.

The most lucrative deal on the list in 2017 is the €5.6bn acquisition of certain parts of Irish-based Medtronic by Cardinal Health.

The largest deal involving an Irish-listed company is CRH's pending €2.9bn acquisition of US cement maker Ash Grove.

CRH boss Albert Manifold said Ash Grove was "an excellent addition to CRH's portfolio of businesses...as we seek to deploy our capital into high quality businesses that enhance our global asset base and provide opportunities".

Irish Independent

Business Newsletter

Read the leading stories from the world of Business.

Also in Business