Private Equity - M&A Review 2022

Published date10 March 2023
Subject MatterCorporate/Commercial Law, M&A/Private Equity, Corporate and Company Law
Law FirmWilliam Fry
AuthorMr Ivor Banim

Despite headwinds, private equity (PE) activity in Ireland in 2022 continued to be strong with a total of 62 transactions. In line with overall M&A, PE activity in Ireland failed to maintain the exceptional (or anomalous) levels of 2021, with deal volumes and values falling by 19% and 76% respectively, year-on-year. Set against pre-pandemic trends, however, the 2022 numbers were still healthy

Where PE firms continue to have significant capital at their disposal - as much as US$1.96trn according to some analysis6 - geopolitical uncertainty and soaring inflation with resultant slowdown in economic growth are undoubtedly significant contributing factors to this reduction in activity. PE activity in Ireland, both international funds and a small but growing number of Irish firms, continued to be a very material feature of the Irish M&A landscape in 2022.

PE accounted for a fifth of all deals by volume in 2022. While many of these were smaller mid-market transactions (contributing to the fall in deal value), seven of the 20 largest deals of the year were PE-related, with five buyouts and two exits. The biggest PE transactions of the year in Ireland were both exits: Partners Group's acquisition of Version 1 Holdings for '800m, and Motive Partners' sale of Global Shares to JP Morgan for '665m.

While PE investors took a more restrained approach in Ireland in 2022, appetite for companies with a sound business model was and will continue to be there in 2023 (particularly when coupled with a more optimistic...

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