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M&A Outlook 2019

Deal insights for Ireland

M&A activity expected at or above 2018 levels

Our 2019 M&A outlook surveyed many of Ireland’s leading executives and M&A advisers for their insights on trends for the year ahead. The majority (87%) expect Irish M&A activity for 2019 to be at or above 2018 levels, and believe 2019 will continue to be a seller’s market with strong valuations and good availability of funding.

Findings show that debt will once again be the primary source of deal funding, with attractive terms, flexible instruments and the presence of new lenders in the market. Global and domestic private equity is also expected to feature prominently.

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60% of Irish M&A executives predict 2019 will be a seller’s market

2019 – Optimism remains despite uncertainty

The deal making community is cautiously optimistic about the year ahead, with the majority of respondents expecting deal volume at or above prior year levels, despite prevailing global macro-economic uncertainties.

Mark Collins

Despite various macro headwinds, our survey indicates sustained deal activity through 2019. A carefully designed approach to M&A, now more than ever, forms a key plank in the strategic foundations of Irish businesses.

Mark Collins

Partner and Head of Deal Advisory

Key factors enabling greater deal making in 2019

An awareness of targets, more sophisticated sell side preparation and speedy access to financing were identified as the top three factors in enabling greater levels of deal making.

What about Brexit?

There is understandable uncertainty within the Irish deal making community surrounding the outcome of the ongoing Brexit negotiations and the consequences from an Irish perspective.

75% believe that Brexit will have an adverse / neutral effect on deal activity in 2019 - a far more negative outlook in comparison to 2018. Many do note, however, that 2019 may present a window for opportunistic Irish companies to acquire / build positions in the UK market through strategic acquisitions.

David O'Kelly

We have completed a number of innovative minority deals, across a range of sectors, with private equity investing and founders taking significant value off the table. We expect both of these trends to continue in 2019.

David O'Kelly

Partner, Corporate Finance

Why do deals fail?

Price / valuation is the rock on which many deals perish according to those surveyed. This highlights the importance for sellers of educating potential buyers about the value proposition and the specific market dynamics which drive their valuation expectations.

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Contact us

Mark Collins

Head of Deal Advisory
KPMG in Ireland

David O'Kelly

Partner, Corporate Finance
KPMG in Ireland

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Irish M&A activity for 2019 expected at or above 2018 levels

Survey conducted with many of Ireland’s leading executives and M&A advisers

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