Value of Irish mergers and acquisitions slips 3% in first quarter

Analysis by stockbroker Davy notes number of transactions whose price was disclosed was ‘significantly lower’ than in first quarter of 2023

Merger and acquisition values slipped more than 3 per cent year on year to €3.2 billion in the first three months of the year, according to new figures.

Irish stockbroking firm Davy’s Irish M&A Market Review for the first quarter of 2024 shows the Republic outperforming international trends, with the number of such deals increasing 28 per cent on the same period last year, versus a global fall of around one third.

The value of Irish deals slipped 3.2 per cent to €3.2 billion, according to Davy, which cautions that the number of transactions whose price was disclosed was “significantly lower” than in the first quarter of 2023.

Notable deals during the first quarter of this year included Starwood Capital paying €791 million for 50 per cent of Echelon Data Centres, and Phoenix Tower’s €971 million purchase of Cellnex Telecom’s Irish mobile phone towers.


British private equity fund Exponent’s purchase of Chanelle Pharma from its founder, vet-turned-businessman Michael Burke, in February also grabbed headlines during the period.

Neither side revealed the price, but it was understood to be around €300 million, a figure that Davy’s review records.

Tech and telecoms continued to be the most active industry, accounting for one third of all transactions, Davy said. Those industries have led the table since 2013, the firm noted.

Irish purchases of businesses abroad were the most common by type, while the UK was one of the leading buyers of entities in the Republic.

Signs of falling interest rates and other favourable conditions indicate that there should be plenty of deals done over the rest of the year, the review predicted.

“Against the backdrop of a resilient macro environment and with the rate outlook particularly positive for the second half, we expect transactional activity in the Irish market to continue to outperform global markets as we move into quarter two and beyond,” the review stated.

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O’Halloran covers energy, construction, insolvency, and gaming and betting, among other areas