| 5.6°C Dublin

Irish Life sell-off tops s5.5bn deals

THE Government's sale of Irish Life helped push the value of mergers and acquisitions in Ireland in early 2013 to the highest level in three years.

Irish trade sales, buyouts and acquisitions valued €5.5bn in the first quarter, new research shows.

The sale of Irish Life for €1.3bn to Canadian firm Greatwest Lifeco accounted for almost a quarter of the €5.57bn in deals.

The Investec M&A Tracker Survey said the significant level of deal value recorded in the first quarter is attributable to the disposal of the Tysabri assets by Elan Corporation to Biogen Idec Inc.

The total disclosed value jumped up from the €792m reported during the same quarter of 2012 and an increase on the €1.6bn of deal value recorded in the fourth quarter of 2012.

The health and pharmaceutical sector accounted for 59pc of the total deal value recorded.

The next largest sector was financial services, which accounted for 23.7pc of deal value.