Mixed year for Irish M&A activity
Value of deals boosted by mega mergers in the pharmaceutical and financial services sector but deal flow falls
Perrigo’s €6.3 billion takeover of Elan (its Athlone plant is pictured) boosted the value of Irish M&A deals in 2013. Photographer: Dara MacDonaill/The Irish Times
The value of Irish mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and equity capital market deals jumped by almost 40 per cent to €38.6 billion last year, boosted by “mega” deals in the pharmaceutical and financial services sectors. However, the number of deals fell back to 254, down by 15.1 per cent on 2012, according to statistics compiled by Xperian, the global information services company.
Fin O’Driscoll, managing director for Experian Ireland, said that the Irish market presented a “mixed picture” in 2013.
“On the one hand, an upturn in large corporate activity pushed deal values to their highest level since 2010, and the country’s dealmakers will be encouraged by brisk activity in the pharmaceutical, biotech and financial services sector, and by consistently high levels of overseas investment. On the other, overall activity remains somewhat suppressed”.
There were six very large deals announced in 2013, up from three in 2012, while the value of these deals was up by almost € 10billion (from € 15.8bn in 2012 to € 25.1bn in 2013). These deals included US pharmaceutical firm Perrigo Co’s acquisition of Dublin’s Elan Corporation for $8.6 billion after a long-running takeover battle, the largest deal of the year.
To put the Irish figures in a European context, Irish deals represented about 2.4 per cent of the total volume of all European transactions in 2013, and accounted for 4.9 per cent of their total value.
M&A activity was dominated by the manufacturing sector in 2013, accounting for 43.3 per cent of deals; however, deal volumes in the sector were down by 27.1 per cent (from 150 in 2012 to 110 in 2013). Meanwhile, the next most active sector, wholesale, retail & repair, saw activity decline by 41.6 per cent.
There was strong growth in the post and telecommunications sector (with a 114 per cent upturn in activity); social and personal services sector (76.5 per cent); and research and development sector (53.3 per cent). In terms of value, the pharmaceutical manufacturing sector saw the aggregate value of transactions up from € 2.1 billion in 2012 to € 19.0 billion in 2013.