Outbound Irish M&A hits three-year high despite decline in deals

Inbound M&A, involving an Irish target and a foreign buyer, totalled $8.9bn

Irish domestic deals totalled $4.8 billion, a six-year high. Photograph: iStock

Irish domestic deals totalled $4.8 billion, a six-year high. Photograph: iStock

 

Acquisitions of foreign companies by Irish-headquartered businesses reached a three-year high last year, despite a decline in the number of transactions.

Mergers and acquisitions with an Irish involvement totalled $44.5 billion (€40 billion) in 2019, with M&A activity abroad rising 51 per cent to $16.3 billion. This was in spite of the number of outbound deals falling to 158 from 180 a year earlier.

The increase was mainly due to Paddy Power owner Flutter Entertainment’s $10.4 billion deal to merge with Canadian gaming company The Stars Group.

The combined value of deals with an Irish target was $13.7 billion last year, down 84 per cent from 2018 following an 89 per cent decline in inbound transactions.

Inbound M&A, involving an Irish target and a foreign buyer, totalled $8.9 billion, compared to $84.7 billion a year earlier.

Irish domestic deals totalled $4.8 billion, a six-year high.

Despite the decline in value, the number of inbound deals increased 4 per cent to the highest annual tally since the 1970s. Irish domestic deals totalled $4.8 billion, a six-year high.

Positive year

Bebhinn Dunne, Ireland country manager for Refinitiv, which compiled the figures, said 2019 was a positive year for M&A locally despite a fall in overall activity.

“The underlying fundamentals of the Irish economy remain strong giving confidence for companies to continue pursuing deal making domestically, as well as overseas, which bodes well for 2020,” she said.