Ireland’s M&A deals reached record-breaking levels in 2021

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Ireland’s involvement in mergers and acquisitions showed a significant boost in 2021 with a record-breaking number of deals taking place, according to market data provider Refinitiv.

Its 2021 report shows 690 M&A deals with Irish involvement were announced during the year, 58pc more than 2020 and the highest number in a single year since its records began in 1980.

The total value of these deals was $104.6bn, six times greater than the amount in 2020 and the second highest value out of all Refinitiv’s annual records to date.

Other records were broken in Ireland’s outbound M&As, which reached $67.7bn in value from 230 deals announced in the year. Both of these figures are higher than any other year since Refinitiv’s records began.

The value of outbound M&As was boosted thanks to two “mega deals” that were announced in the first quarter of 2021, when Irish aircraft-leasing group AerCap agreed to buy GE Capital Aviation Services for $31.2bn and Icon Plc bid $11.9bn for US-based PRA Health Sciences.

“This strong performance driven by aircraft leasing and healthcare shows that Ireland is very much open for business and overseas buyers will continue to be attracted to Ireland’s fast growing and business friendly economy.” London Stock Exchange Group’s Ireland country manager Ian McFarlane said.

Financial services accounted for the highest total value in deals, with 46pc market share, followed by healthcare at 20pc. A report last August from law firm William Fry said the technology, media and telecom sector accounted for the highest number of M&A deals in the first half of 2021.

Domestic deals reached an all-time high of $12.3bn, boosted by Permanent TSB’s offer to acquire assets from Ulster Bank in a deal worth $8.6bn. Inbound M&As involving an Irish target and a foreign buyer tripled in value compared to 2020, reaching $18.1bn.

Goldman Sachs was the top financial advisor for M&As with any Irish involvement, being connected to 15 deals worth more than $60bn for the year, followed by Citi and Morgan Stanley.

An EY report last July found that Ireland was benefiting from a global surge in M&A activity, with more deals involving Irish targets in the first six months of 2021 than in the whole of 2020.

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