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Number of mergers and acquisitions rise in 2016, Experian finds
October, 08th 2016

Ireland has seen more mergers and acquisitions over the first nine months of the year compared to 2015, but have taken a dip in the most recent quarter.

There were 27 deals in the last three months according to the latest report from analysts Experian (against 50 in the same period in 2015).

Among deals over the quarter was the £14 million acquisition of north Belfast firm JLM Holdings - and its subsidiary Label One.

It was snapped up in August by Canada-based CCL Industries, the largest label maker in the world.

Meanwhile, software developer Lystable, founded by Carrickfergus man Peter Johnston, received £7.5m venture capital funding from Pay Pal co-founder Peter Thiel.

Experian said the total value of deals across the quarter was £44.7m, bringing deals this year to date to £851m.

"As usual, manufacturing remains not only the busiest industry with the 43 announced transactions being a 10.3 per cent increase on 2015 YTD (year to date), but also saw the most money change hands at nearly £672.1m despite that figure being nearly 40 per cent less than last year," it said.

"The financial services sector has been one of the biggest movers with the volume and value of announced deals for the industry increased 285.7 per cent and 896.8 respectively to make it the third busiest industry (behind wholesale and retail in second on 38) and the second most valuable at £432.6m."

Experian said Belfast law firm Tughans was the most active legal adviser "by some distance" having advised on 37 transactions so far this year.

A&L Goodbody and Mills Selig are tied in second place on 24 deals.

Herbert Smith Freehills and Linklaters remained joint top of the legal value table on £340m as a result of advising on the acquisition of Homebase (which is registered in Belfast) by Australian Australian conglomerate Wesfarmers.

John-George Willis, Head of Tughans' corporate department said: "Maintaining the top position in the Experian deal review and advisor league tables, with 26 per cent of announced deals, is a tremendous achievement and demonstrates not only the hard work and dedication of the Tughans’ team but also the continued faith put in us by our local and international clients.

"It is extremely pleasing for ourselves as an organisation, but it is also encouraging to see an increased level of activity in the marketplace."

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