The value of Irish merger and acquisition activity in 2011 is expected to be the highest it has been since before 2007 – over 140 business professionals heard an event today, hosted by William Fry, one of Ireland’s leading corporate law firms. The breakfast briefing, ‘Selling Your Company – A Roadmap for Success’, was held for company owners aiming to attract potential buyers and to outline what potential buyers are looking for to complete a successful company acquisition.
Speaking at the briefing, Myra Garrett, Managing Partner of William Fry, said: “Despite the ongoing economic pressures, there has been a constant flow of Irish companies being sold over the past 12 months. The total value of acquisitions has already exceeded 2008 levels and we are only at the start of the traditionally busy period of Q4. The sectors experiencing the highest levels of activity are Financial Services, Technology, Pharmaceutical and Bio-technology, and Food and Agri-business.”
Guest speakers at this morning’s event included Paul Kerley, former CEO of Norkom Technologies, Michael Scholefield, Managing Director of the Corporate Finance division of DCC plc and Andrew McIntyre, Corporate partner in William Fry.
Paul Kerley commented that: “As a listed company I believe that a public rather than private sale process is preferable. Even though a public process brings on many risks they are offset by the opportunity to create a much higher level of competitive tension and subsequent value to shareholders. The greatest threat in this event is a protracted process and all efforts should be focused on completed the process quickly and bring clarity back to employees, clients, shareholders and other stakeholders”
Also speaking at this morning’s breakfast briefing, Michael Scholefield said: “Business credibility is everything when looking to attract a buyer. Potential buyers will look for further growth opportunities, cash generation, reasonable legal protections and businesses with few dependencies. Before selling your company, it is extremely important to carry-out a complete review of the market, an in depth review of accounts, a review of HR and pensions issues, and a review of tax computations and compliance. When preparing for an acquisition, you must plan, be realistic and communicate with key stakeholders. Many acquisitions go wrong when there is a lack of due diligence, a lack of realism or an unstructured process in place.”
William Fry has advised in 34 acquisitions to date this year. These include €1.1bn purchase of a 34% stake in Bank of Ireland, the €217 sale of Norkom Technologies, the sale of Biancamed and the US$1.4bn acquisition of Transamerica.
For further information on William Fry’s series of breakfast briefings, go to www.williamfry.ie
For further information, please contact:
Sinead Hennebry, Head of Marketing, William Fry.
T: +353 1 639 5000