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Top deals nominated Back  
Last year was a very busy year in the Irish corporate finance and capital markets, as illustrated by the volume of deals nominated for this year's FINANCE 'Deals of the Year' awards.

On the corporate finance side, market conditions were such that 2006 has been described as a 'sellers' market', and as a result high valuations were achieved.

Of the deals nominated, Riverdeep's reverse takeover of the Houghton Mifflin Holding Company was the largest, valued at around $4.6 billion. The transaction was the largest ever Irish M&A transaction and the largest private company fundraising.

Another of the most high profile deals of the year was the €2.4 billion buy-out of Eircom by Babcock & Brown. This deals marks the fourth time that Eircom has been nominated. In 2002 Valentia's €3 billion take-over of eircom was nominated, followed by eircom's €3.4 billion IPO in 2004. Last year the telecoms firm was nominated for its €420 million acquisition of Meteor.
A notable aspect of the deal was the fact that it was the first company to come under the auspices of the new European Directive on Takeovers, which was implemented in the UK in May 2006.

On the capital markets side, private placements remained very popular amongst Irish corporates looking to access investment from the US. Over the past year there were a number of notable deals, including a $200 million deal from last year's winner of the 'Corporate Deal of the Year', the Quinn Group, as well as a €170 million deal from NTR, and a $150 million deal from Bord na Mona.
Overall, corporates were quite active in the capital markets in 2006, with other notable deals from Cadbury Schweppes, who raised €1.85 billion in a high yield bond, and pharmaceuticals firm Elan, who raised $615 million also via a high yield bond.

The past year was also busy for equity linked deals, and while there were a number of corporates listing on both AIM and the IEX, the most high profile deal by far was Aer Lingus' IPO, which valued the company at €1.16 billion.

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