A total of 122 deals were recorded within the Irish M&A Market in the first six months of 2022, a drop of 14% since the first half of 2021 which was considered an outlier year. The total deal value came to €6.4bn, a decrease of 66% from the first half of 2021.
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Key findings for the first six months of 2022 include:
- 92 inbound deals in the first six months of 2022, worth a total of €5.8bn
- 5 deals worth €500m or more, which is significantly more than the yearly average since 2016
- Total value of M&A activity in Ireland came to €6.4bn, a 66% annual decrease but an increase from pre-pandemic levels
- 122 transactions represented a 14% decrease from 2021 levels, but an increase from pre-pandemic levels
- Financial services proved to be the most dominant sector in Irish dealmaking, accounting for 32% of total Irish M&A in the first half of the year
- Of the 28 PE-related transactions in the market, 7 were among the largest 20 deals recorded
- Driven by dealmaking within the renewables sector, the energy, mining and utilities sector saw its share of total Irish M&A volume rise to 8% of all deals in the first six months of 2022, up from 4% in 2021.
Stephen Keogh, Head of Corporate/ M&A noted: “After two years of battling Covid-related headwinds, Ireland’s economy appears, so far, to be weathering this and other storms. While there has inevitably been a cooling in the market compared to an extremely active 2021, M&A has returned to pre-pandemic levels of activity and, in the first half of the year at least, appetite for deals remained undiminished.”
Though strong activity in the mid-market accounted for 84% of all transactions in the first six months of 2022, there were 5 deals valued above €500m amounting to €4.6bn in total. This was down from record activity in 2021 when 8 deals were recorded within this price range. The largest deal of 2022 so far was SMBC Aviation Capital’s acquisition of aircraft leasing rival Goshawk Management, which was valued at €1.5bn.
Accounting for 32% of all transactions, the financial services sector was the dominant sector in Irish dealmaking during the first six months of the year. This was driven by consolidation within the insurance sector, with the largest such deal being the acquisition of Gallivan Murphy Insurance Brokers by US-based insurance broker AssuredPartners for €100m. In terms of deal value, the technology, media, and telecoms (TMT) sector was the dominant sector within the market, accounting for 29% of total Irish M&A during the first half of the year.
Although inbound activity was strong at the top end of the market, with overseas acquirers conducting 9 of the top 10 deals of the year, the 92 inbound transactions recorded in the first half of the year represented a 12% decrease in volume year-on-year. The total deal value for inbound transactions came to €5.8bn which represented a 59% decrease in value compared to H1 2021.
7 of the 20 largest deals recorded in the Irish M&A market during the first six months of the year were PE-related transactions, with the largest of the deals being Brookfield Asset Management’s €1.1bn acquisition of Hibernia REIT. However, the total of 28 PE transactions recorded during the same period was 13 less than in H1 2021 which was a particularly strong year. The total deal value for such transactions in 2022 has decreased by 71% to €2.9bn.
Looking ahead to the second half of 2022, Stephen Keogh, concluded: “Irish M&A has proven itself to be extremely resilient over the past few years, seen through the impressive levels of deal activity throughout the global pandemic. While there are a number of negative political and economic factors to contend with, there is reason to be optimistic that Irish M&A will continue to prove itself to be relatively robust throughout the second half of 2022.”
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