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Tech deals boost M&A activity

£5bn spent in third quarter

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Over €5bn was spent on mergers and acquisitions involving Irish firms in the third quarter, with tech-related M&As among the most valuable deals.

Overall, the value of M&As carried out in the quarter was almost three times that for the same three-month period last year.

The value of acquisitions in the first nine months of 2007 was close to €13bn, an increase of 82 per cent on the same time period in 2006.

During the first quarter of 2007, total deal value was €4.2bn, while second quarter M&As reached €3.7bn. However, while the value of deals rose during the third quarter to more than €5bn, the number of deals carried out declined from an average of 58 in the previous four quarters to 47.

The €2.9bn acquisition of Reed Elsevier US schools division by Irish educational software publisher Houghton Mifflin Riverdeep was the biggest deal carried out in the third quarter.

Irish payment services firm Alphyra's €800m reverse takeover of the UK firm Cardpoint was the second largest deal of the quarter, while Threefold's €160m purchase of Eircom's masts division was the fourth biggest deal.

Ion Equity director Joe Devine said large transactions continue to dominate in each successive quarter and that this trend is likely to continue.

"We believe that in the future the Irish M&A market is increasingly going to be dominated by a small number of mega deals each quarter," said Devine.

© 2007 ENN

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