New record for quarterly M&A transactions with 55% rise in Q2 2019 deals to 94
Investec Corporate Finance has released its second quarter analysis of M&A activity which reviews trade sales, buyouts and acquisitions in the Irish market where the target company or acquirer has a significant presence in Ireland. The Investec M&A Tracker for Q2 shows 94 recorded deals during the period valued at €963 million. This quarter set a new record for Investec’s analysis with the previous high water mark of 87 transactions recorded in the final quarter of 2007.
The IT & Telecoms sector saw the most activity in the second quarter of 2019 accounting for 24.5% of total deal volume with 23 deals recorded during the period under review. The Health and Pharmaceutical sector was next, accounting for 16% of total deal volume (15 transactions), followed by the Professional & Technical sector with ten transactions. Building, Construction & Property saw the largest value in recorded transactions, accounting for 31.2% of the total €963 million with Financial Services deals amounting to €130 million of value.
Among the key themes from Investec’s second quarter analysis were Irish plcs being much less acquisitive than normal during the period, perhaps unsurprisingly given the significant activity in recent quarters. In contrast to this a number of privately owned, including financial investor or private equity backed, Irish companies continued to be acquisitive during the quarter, including Zeus Packaging, Beauparc (Panda), Oasis and Enva. Notable deals in the period include Mediahuis NV’s acquisition of INM plc for a reported €102m, AIB & First Data’s joint venture acquisition of Payzone for €86m, Brewin Dolphin’s acquisition of Investec Wealth & Investment for €44m, Grupo Cafento’s acquisition of Java Republic for €30m and UDG Healthcare’s acquisition of Putnam Associates for €54m.
A total of 18 in-market transactions were recorded during the period, the largest of which was the AIB First Data JV acquisition of Payzone Ireland. Davy Group also acquired Metis Financial Planning Ireland for an undisclosed amount. Four of these in-market Irish transactions were from the Leisure & Travel sector. The most notable of these being Neville Hotels’ acquisition of Druids Glen Hotel & Golf Resort for €45m.
Commenting on M&A activity in the Irish market year-to-date, Jonathan Simmons, Director, of Investec Corporate Finance, said: “When our Q2 deal data is reviewed in conjunction with first quarter activity the first half of this year has been a particularly busy period for M&A activity involving Irish companies with 156 deals concluded, significantly ahead of the 118 deals recorded in the first six months of 2018. Our analysis also shows a significant reduction in deal values. While this may suggest a less active market it has always been Investec’s view that the number of deals concluded rather than value of deals is a better barometer of M&A activity as a small number of larger transactions can easily distort the market. From our review of current market activity the number of deals in the final two quarters of this year is likely to revert back to normal levels.”