William Fry: Irish M&A market slows in first half of year
The Irish M&A market slowed in the first half of the year, with a two per cent decline in volume but a significant 58 per cent decrease in total value, according to new analysis by William Fry.
There were 177 transactions worth a combined €5.2 billion during the first half of 2023, with 97 per cent of the deals originating from the mid-market segment (i.e. between €5m and €250m in value) and only three deals worth €500m or more.
Inbound activity accounted for over two-thirds of Irish M&A deals, with 113 inbound deals worth a total of €4.1bn.
Pharmaceuticals, medical and biotech sector accounted for 28% of M&A deal value, versus just 2% during the same period last year.
Domestic deal values fell from €2.2bn in the first six months of 2022 to €1.1bn this year.
There were 34 transactions worth €1.69bn involving a private equity interest, an 11 per cent decline in volume and 32 per cent decline in value terms compared to the previous year.
Stephen Keogh, head of corporate/M&A at William Fry, said: “Although Ireland’s economy continues to outperform international peers, the mergers and acquisitions market slowed in the first half of 2023, with a minor two per cent fall in deal volume but a more substantial 58 per cent decrease by deal value.
“However, this is in line with an international decline in deal activity caused by factors such as rising interest rates, high inflation and fears of recession.
“Looking forward to the remainder of 2023, dealmaking will not slow to a halt, as there is ongoing interest in Irish businesses across a range of sectors, while a tougher economic environment will create plenty of opportunities for M&A activity.
“We expect reasonably healthy levels of Irish M&A activity in the second half of 2023, but no imminent return to the bumper volumes witnessed in the immediate aftermath of the Covid era.”