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Accountancy firms prominent in corporate finance league table for 2004 Back  
Accountancy firms were busy in the corporate finance market in 2004, with PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte, Ernst & Young and KPMG all in the top ten of the most active firms by number of deals. IBI Corporate Finance, followed by Davy, topped the table, while Deutsche Bank and KPMG, were top for the highest value of deals transacted.
IIIBI Corporate Finance advised on the highest number of corporate finance transactions in the Irish marketplace, with eight deals to its name, according to league tables produced by Mergermarket, the specialist M&A information provider, for corporate finance activity for 2004. Among the high profile deals IBI helped facilitate during the year was the Grafton takeover of Heiton, where IBI advised Heiton, and the flotation of drinks group C&C on the Dublin and London Stock Exchanges.

Davy Corporate Finance was ranked second, with seven deals, while third place was taken by KPMG Corporate Finance, who jumps into 3rd place from 27th last year, with six deals. AIB Corporate Finance, also had a busier 2004 than 2003, moving into fourth place, with five deals, from ninth position in the previous year.

When looked at by value of deals, Deutsche Bank, who advised on just two deals including eircom’s €1.1 billion public offering, leads the ranking, with total deal value of €1,762, followed by KPMG Corporate Finance, with a total deal value of €1,254 million.

The league tables rank the top 15 domestic and international investment banks and corporate finance firms according to the number of completed M&A transactions they were involved in during 2004.
Although Deutsche Bank accounts for the highest value of deals, when looked at by number of deals transacted, Irish firms dominate the top ten, with only two UK based firms, Morgan Stanley and Downer & Company, making it into the ten.

Commenting on the survey, Peter Crowley, chief executive, IBI Corporate Finance, said he expects even greater M&A activity this year. ‘We would expect to do somewhere in the double digits this year. There’s a strong pipeline out there due largely to the easy availability of debt and companies reaching a certain stage in their cycle where it a merger or acquisition makes sense.’

However, it is unlikely that any of this activity will involve Irish stocks leaving the Irish Stock Exchange. ‘I don’t think this activity will involve delistings from the Irish Stock Exchange because most of the companies suitable for delisting have done so and the stock market has performed well over the last while,’ said Crowley.

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