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‘Deal of the Year’ goes to IL&P’s acquisition of TSB Bank Back  
Ireland’s top plcs have voted Irish Life & Permanent (IL&P)’s E430 million acquisition of TSB Bank as ‘Finance Deal of the Year’.
In the first ever mergers and acquisitions survey carried out in Ireland by Finance involving both the corporate finance community and Ireland’s top plcs, the plcs chose the TSB deal as their most admired deal of the year. Commenting on why they voted for this deal a finance director of a major plc said that they voted for Irish Life & Permanent’s acquisition of TSB Bank due to the strategic fit of the two companies and the shareholder value of the acquirer. Another who voted for this deal said that the deal went through very gently and was a ‘good fit’ strategically.
NCB Corporate Finance advised Irish Life & Permanent plc on the acquisition. Commenting on the deal, Fergus McLoughlin, a director at NCB said, ‘TSB gave Irish Life & Permanent plc the banking presence it needed to develop a proper bancassurance model and assisted in their strategy to become the No. 1 retail financial services provider in Ireland.’ PwC Corporate Finance advised TSB Bank, and according to Brian Evans, a partner at PwC, for TSB, the transaction followed a detailed examination of the various avenues open to the bank. A merger with Irish Permanent was seen as the route, which best served the long-term interests of TSB’ s stakeholders - its customers, staff and the government.
Kerry’s E333.3m acquisition of Golden Vale was ranked second and according to one plc was voted for because ‘the deal was very swiftly and efficiently executed and also because it was quite a major transaction due to amount of shareholders on either side’. Another voter said that the deal was ‘a nice solution to an intractable problem over the price of milk between the co-op and the plc’. Leo Casey, manager at IBI Corporate Finance who advised Golden Vale, said that it was a landmark deal in the Irish market last year as it was the largest M&A deal involving both an Irish acquirer and target. Davy advised Kerry in what was Kerry’s first public takeover.
The biggest deal of last year, Valentia’s E3 billion takeover of eircom, only came in fourth place despite the fact that it took nine months of intensive negotiations and 18 expressions of interest or bids submitted to the board of eircom from five different consortia.
The methodology behind the survey was that Ireland’s leading corporate finance advisors selected three deals which they have worked on over 12 months ending February 28th, 2002 and these nominations were then put to the top plcs who voted on their most admired deal.
Full results and M&A deal directory: See P.4

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