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Irish mergers and acquisitions activity hits 35bn in first half
August, 05th 2015

There was €35bn worth of merger and acquisitions activity recorded in Ireland during the first half of the year, with the figure biased by an M&A frenzy in the global pharmaceutical sector.

A report by law firm William Fry confirms that the biggest deal done during the first six months of 2015 was the €32.6bn acquisition of Dublin-headquartered US pharmaceutical firm Perrigo by Mylan.

That's just one of a number of giant global pharma M&A deals that been done this year.

The other big deals in the Irish mergers and acquisitions landscape this year include the still to be completed €1.3bn takeover of Aer Lingus by British Airways owner IAG.
There were a total of 45 deals recorded in the first half of 2015.

"Although the overall number of deals and value is slightly down when compared with this time last year, it's been a steady and positive start to 2015," according to Shane O'Donnell, head of corporate and M&A at William Fry.

"Ireland's economic recovery is taking hold across more sectors and this is driving renewed activity at an SME level in the leisure sector and leading to a strong pipeline for the second half of the year," he added. "We've also recorded some big ticket deals in the usual strong areas of activity such as the pharma, medical and biotech sector."

Another sizeable deal notched up during the first half of the year was the €911m acquisition of Jurys Inns by Lone Star Funds. The William Fry report said the leisure sector had continued to perform strongly in the period, with a steady stream of hotel purchases.

Hotel group Dalata, headed by former Jurys boss Pat McCann, has been among the major buyers. It is Ireland's biggest hotel group.

The report also noted that there has been an increase in the availability for debt and equity finance for deals.

A total of eight deals worth €993m were funded by private equity in the period, a decline year-on-year of 33pc in volume and 64pc in value, according to William Fry.

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