Although Irish M&A activity was affected by the financial crash, the past number of years has seen a significant increase in M&A activity. In addition, Ireland’s growth as a tech hub, anchored on the ongoing success of international tech giants such as Google and Facebook in Ireland, has seen a proliferation of indigenous Irish technology companies. It is also anticipated that there will be an increase in M&A activity focused on these companies, with international investors, and technology companies, looking to invest in the Irish technology sector.
Interestingly, most Irish M&A deals are being now driven by non-Irish acquirers. It is also clear however that the dynamics of an M&A deal in the new economic reality will be quite different from those which applied pre-crisis. With bank debt harder to the source, buyers and investors, when investing their own funds, must identify and realise real value on each investment. Valuations, and attitudes to risk have fundamentally changed. This new reality has resulted in deals typically taking longer to “get going”, with acquirers now conducting meaningful due diligence exercises on each target before engaging.