Pfizer/Allergan boost as M&A activity jumps €45.3bn to €189bn in 2015

Mergers and acquisitions increased in value from €45.3bn to €189bn last year but reduced in volume, down to 104 from 120 in 2014, according to the William Fry M&A Review 2015.

The figures included the €172.6bn mega-deal between Pfizer and Allergan, which was announced in November.

Despite the sizeable deal, the mergers and acquisitions sector still recorded a 41pc increase in the value of deals when compared to the previous year.

Outbound deals accounted for half of all transactions last year but inbound deals dominated the value of the overall deals with 90pc of the largest deals by value involving foreign bidders.

William Fry head of corporate Shane O’Donnell said Irish businesses are becoming more confident of growing their global footprint.

“We also saw a change in the mix of sectors recording deals, with technology, media and telecommunications dominating deal volume for the first time ever, reflecting the fast-paced evolution of these businesses and the opportunities being seized by mid-market sized firms to either grow through acquisition or to sell their business,” Mr O’Donnell said.

The report attributes much of the Irish growth to greater access and choice of sources of finance. The firm says access to affordable finance increased due to the ECB’s quantitative easing programme.

“Whilst the global macro-economic outlook for 2016 shows uncertainty over the varying degrees of recovery across Europe and the slowing down of China’s economy, Ireland is still forecast to experience economic growth and we would expect M&A deals to continue strongly this year.”

Recovery in the property sector continued into 2015, recording an overall increase of 6pc in the volume of deals completed.

Over 500 construction projects began last year with €3.7bn being invested in commercial property, which included the sale of the Project Jewel portfolio by Nama for €1.8bn.

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