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BT-ESAT most admired deal Back  
Apart from deals your firm has been involved in, which deal of 1999 - early 2000 do you most admire and why?
ABN AMRO

No deal really springs to mind except Baltimore Technologies reverse into Zergo (which is slightly outside the survey’s timeframe). By doing this deal Baltimore managed to get a London listing and shift its business away from lower margin cryptographic hardware to higher margin public key infrastructure software sales. In 1999/2000 BT’s takeover of ESAT may not prove great value for BT but was a great deal for ESAT shareholders.

AIB Corporate Finance

The Jurys/Doyle merger seems to us, as observers from the sidelines of the transaction, a well thought through and smart deal requiring patience and determination from all sides. Hats off to Peter Malone and his team. Of course that was the first transaction of a busy year for Peter Malone who was the Chairman of Hibernian Insurance which was taken over in a public take-over offer by CGU. Given what has happened to the value of Irish financial stocks, Hibernian’s Board, led by Peter Malone, must be extremely satisfied with the price achieved for its shareholders. AIB Corporate Finance were delighted to be involved in this successful transaction.

BDO Simpson Xavier Corporate Finance

As a proponent of MBO’s, I was delighted to see the C&C deal which shows no matter how large the company is, it can be subject to an MBO. It’s subsequent acquisition of Tayto for ?68m shows that MBO’s can also expand rapidly in the market place. Would this have happened if C&C floated?

CFI

Privatisation of Clondalkin, because it was a transaction waiting to happen. Public to privates are extremely complex and fraught with compliance barriers but this transaction seems to have been done with the minimum of fuss and achieved a positive outcome for the parties involved.

Chapman Flood Mazars

I think the Clondalkin deal was well structure and aggressive attacked. I think it will lead the way for a number of other similar deals. In addition, you must admire the way in which the Esat sale was managed to maximise value.

Davy Corporate Finance

Clearly the ESAT deal for the valuation ultimately achieved for such a young company, but also for the general feeling of goodwill that pervaded thereafter.

Dolmen Corporate Finance

Persuading BT to buy ESAT.

Deloitte Corporate Finance

Undoubtedly the ESAT / BT transaction, primarily due to the company’s adeptness in handling the transaction and the valuation achieved, a supreme reward to the promoters for risk taking over the years.

Ernst & Young

Baltimore’s Emergence as a world player.

Goodbody Corporate Finance

Royal Bank of Scotland takeover of NatWest, given the hostile nature of the transaction. British Telecom takeover of Esat Telecom, given the premium obtained by Esat over its share price.

Grant Thornton

Excluding IPO deals, I would have to say ESAT, a tremendous rollercoaster of a deal - the Irish entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well.

IBI Corporate Finance

The clear winner must be the sale of ESAT to BT at a price which must have satisfied (nearly all) ESAT shareholders.

Merrion Capital

Esat Telecom’s sale to BT - the way in which Esat and its advisers tactically manouvered to maximise the price. Also, because it represented a practical demonstration to local capital markets industry that the business paradigm has indeed changed.
NCB Corporate Finance

The ESAT deal comes immediately to mind for obvious reasons. Notwithstanding that, we would rank the Baltimore Technologies/Zergo deal at the top of the list. Since their merger the value of the company has soared and it is now poised (at time of writing) for FTSE100 inclusion.

PricewaterhouseCoopers

British Telecommunications’ white knight acquisition of ESAT. What impressed was the speed BT delivered a knockout bid to ESAT shareholders and then immediately resolved the major issues of the Ocean joint venture and the Telenor holding in Digifone, demonstrating strategic clarity, speed and determination. Similarly, ESAT’s management team successfully ensured that their shareholders obtained a very full valuation for the business, notwithstanding the problem of the 49% minority stake in the mobile subsidiary.

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