Irish M&A market benefiting from surge in demand for Irish assets – IBI Corporate Finance

15 Oct 2018

Irish M&A market benefiting from surge in demand for Irish assets – IBI Corporate Finance

  • Irish M&A market very strong in 2018
  • Private equity buyers fuelling “unprecedented” demand for Irish businesses
  • Seller expectations remain high as valuations supported by demand
  • Brexit presents risks but little evidence to date of any significant effect on Irish M&A activity


Unprecedented demand for Irish assets is driving continued growth in Irish M&A activity, IBI Corporate Finance, Ireland’s top corporate finance firm, said today.


Speaking at an event marking the first anniversary of the firm’s successful MBO from Bank of Ireland, IBI Corporate Finance Chief Executive Tom Godfrey and Managing Director Ted Webb said the first half of 2018 was “notably buoyant” for M&A activity.


Mr Godfrey said the key mid-market deals (€5m to €250m) sector, which accounts for 92% of all disclosed deals, was “extremely robust”.


“The Irish M&A market is in very good shape and we’re seeing unprecedented demand for Irish businesses,” he said.


“Demand is particularly strong from private equity buyers, who are being attracted to Ireland by high-quality businesses that are benefiting from the very favourable macroeconomic backdrop. In addition, sellers are keen to execute transactions in what is a very healthy market and their valuation expectations remain high.” 



Irish M&A Market Sectoral Trends

Mr Godfrey added: 

  • While Brexit presents risks to market sentiment, IBI Corporate Finance is seeing little evidence to date of Brexit having any significant effect on Irish M&A activity;

-        The firm’s advisory activity is well spread across all the main business sectors in Ireland –

o   Manufacturing & Industrial (29% of fee income in 12 months to September 2018)

o   Healthcare (26%)

o   Food & Agribusiness (15%)

o   Consumer & Retail (10%);

-        The Irish M&A market has been transformed since the financial crash with a new wave of providers of debt and equity finance, giving buyers more options and greater flexibility when structuring acquisitions;

-        Foreign investor interest in Ireland remains strong;

  • Deals are being driven by factors that include the sale of non-core assets; succession planning; vertical integration; appetite for Irish acquisitions from global strategic acquirers; and driving consolidation efficiencies and creating “national champions”. 


Business Performance

Mr Webb said the favourable market conditions had resulted in IBI Corporate Finance’s business continuing to thrive following the change of ownership and the firm is well placed to continue to lead the market.


“The opportunity is there and we are very excited about the prospects for IBI Corporate Finance, our clients, the Irish M&A market and the wider Irish economy,” he said.


Mr Webb added the firm had recently expanded its services to include specialist units that advise on debt and equity fundraisings and that it plans to roll out additional specialist offerings in the coming years.



Among the recent transactions on which IBI Corporate Finance advised are:

  • Glanbia - sale of 60% stake in Dairy Ireland to Glanbia Co-Operative Society Ltd
  • Sisk Healthcare – sale to Uniphar
  • Fairfax- sale of convertible notes in FBD Holdings plc
  • Top Oil – sale to Irving Oil 
  • Coillte – sale of stake in windfarms to Greencoat Renewables
  • Paddy Power – merger with Betfair Group plc 



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