Irish M&A deals up in 2017 as A&L Goodbody tops legal rankings for sixth year running

February, 2018 - Dublin, Ireland

A&L Goodbody has been ranked the number one Irish law firm for mergers and acquisitions (M&A) by deal volume in 2017 by each of the international publications – Thomson Reuters, Bloomberg, Mergermarket and Experian Corpfin. This is the sixth year running that the firm has advised on more M&A deals than any other Irish law firm. Since 2012 A&L Goodbody has acted on 26% more deals than the next best ranked law firm (Source: Mergermarket).

In a review of the Irish M&A market in Ireland, A&L Goodbody said there has been an increase in the total number of transactions in 2017. According to data issued by international publication Mergermarket, the total number of deals involving an Irish company in 2017 was 145, up 9% on 2016. The sectors that saw the most deals in 2017 in Ireland are life sciences/pharmaceutical and financial services, which have both shown a marked increase in transactions over 2016. The information, communications and technology (ICT) sector still accounts for a significant portion of deals and has seen a slight increase over 2016.

Mark Ward, Head of M&A at A&L Goodbody, said: "We have seen an uplift in the overall number of M&A transactions in Ireland last year. This is mainly due to the continued improvement in the Irish economy which is increasingly attractive to investors. However, my view is that uncertainty over Brexit and the changing US market meant that this growth was lower than expected, particularly in the early part of 2017. I see this uncertainty gradually lifting in 2018 and I expect much more activity this year, particularly in mid-market transactions both domestically and internationally. We are also likely to see the same sectors of pharma and financial services leading the way in 2018."

In 2017 A&L Goodbody advised on a range of domestic and international transactions including:

CPPIB on its proposed €830m acquisition of Shell's interest in the Corrib Gas Field
NJJ Holdings on its proposed acquisition of eir
Euronext on its proposed acquisition of the Irish Stock Exchange
The sale of Noonan to Bidvest for €175m
Allianz Europe on its acquisition of the remaining shares in Allianz-Life Holdings for €160m
Carton Group in relation to Scandi Standard AB's proposed acquisition of Manor Farm
Cardinal Carlyle on its acquisition of Sam McCauley Chemists for €50m