CRH deal on Holcim and Lafarge dominates M&A increase in first quarter

M&A upwards trend in first quarter to continue, says Investec

Lone Star’s acquisition of Jurys Inns Group for €911 million was among the biggest first-quarter deals. Photograph: Alan Betson

Lone Star’s acquisition of Jurys Inns Group for €911 million was among the biggest first-quarter deals. Photograph: Alan Betson

 

Mergers and acquisitions were up significantly in the first quarter of this year when compared with the same period last year, and Investec is predicting that the trend in both quantity and quantum will continue through the rest of 2015.

The prediction is made despite the fact that one transaction in Q1 2015, CRH’s acquisition of certain assets of Holcim and Lefarge, represented 76 per cent of the value of all transactions. The deal involved assets with a value of €6.5 billion.

The Investec quarterly M&A tracker found that the first quarter of this year had the highest value of deals since 2007 and that the quarter’s deals were 40 per cent higher in value than those of the equivalent 2014 period.

Unsurprisingly, the building, construction and property sector saw the largest value of transactions (76 per cent), followed by leisure and travel (11 per cent). As well as the CRH deal, the building, construction and property sector saw the Grafton group acquiring UK-based TG Lynes Limited, and Kingspan acquiring Belgium based Joris.

Jurys Inns Group

The top deals by value were the CRH acquisition followed by Lone Star’s acquisition of Jurys Inns Group (€911 million), Kingspan’s acquisition of Joris (€315 million), Schweiter Technologies acquisition of Polycase NV (€136 million), and Icon plc’s acquisition of MediMedia Pharma Solutions (€106 million).

The total number of deals reported, at 68, represented a 15.3 per cent increase on the 2014 period. The sector with the most deals was the industrial sector, with 16, followed by IT and telecoms (15) and food and food service (10).

In value terms, the €136 million acquisition of Polycasa by Belgian firm Schweiter Technologies was the largest disclosed deal by value in the industrial sector during Q1 2015. Another transaction of note was the acquisition of Ormonde Mining Plc by Almonty Industries for an undisclosed sum.

Investec noted that of the 68 deals in Q1, 28 were foreign acquisitions by Irish companies – twice the number recorded in Q2 2014.