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Monday, 15th April 2024
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Deals of the year 2007: Aer Lingus and Eircom amongst groundbreaking deals Back  
Some of the largest deals ever transacted in the Irish market are recognised in this year's FINANCE 'Deals of the Year' 2007, including Riverdeep's $4.5 billion reverse takeover of Houghton Mifflin, Ulster Bank's €3.9 billion securitisation and Babcock & Brown's €2.4 billion acquisition of Eircom. This year's awards also acknowledge new developments such as the first securitisation of non-conforming mortgages in the Start deal, as well as deal types we haven't seen for some years - such as the Aer Lingus flotation, which was the first privatisation since 1999 and the first listing on the Irish Stock Exchange in over two years.

Click here to see all the winners
This year's FINANCE 'Deals of the Year' once more recognise the role the deal makers and deal advisers played in the Irish corporate finance and capital markets over the past year.

Although nominated three other times in FINANCE's 'Deals of the Year', telecommunications firm Eircom has never won an award. However, this year, Babcock & Brown's E2.4 billion acquisition of the company scooped the 'Corporate Finance Deal of the Year Award', in what is the firm's second leveraged buy-out in the space of just five years.
Dermot Mannion, chief executive of Aer Lingus


The 'Equity-Linked Deal of the Year' went to Aer Lingus' IPO, the first privatisation of an Irish company since eircom in 1999 and the first listing on the Irish Stock Exchange in over two years. The company went public on October 2nd, 2006, with an offering value of E740 million, and the company's valuation on flotation was E1.2 billion. The offer share price was E2.20. On April 17th, the price stood at E3.15, representing growth of 43 per cent since its flotation.

The winner of this year's most 'innovative' deal is Start Mortgages' E370 million securitisation, Lansdowne Mortgages Securities No.1 plc, the first non-conforming issue in Ireland. Last year's winner was also a securitisation deal, Real Estate Opportunities commercial mortgage backed Opera deal - the first CMBS deal in the Irish market. Barclays Capital were mandated to arrange and lead manage this ground breaking deal, with McCann Fitzgerald advising Start and Matheson Ormsby Prentice offering legal advice to Barclays.

Taking the mantle from the buy-out of Jurys Doyle as 'Best Leveraged Finance Deal' is Riverdeep, who was awarded this title for its $4.5 billion reverse takeover of US educational textbook publisher Houghton Mifflin. It was the biggest deal of 2006, the largest ever takeover of a US entity by an Irish company, and the second-largest transaction in Irish corporate history. The transaction was also notable for the significant portion of PIK (payment-in-kind) financing raised by certain of the Irish Riverdeep entities.

Also in this year's awards are three new categories - 'Best Banking Funding Deal', 'Private Client Deal of the Year' and 'Project Finance Deal of the Year'.

The 'Best Banking Funding Deal' was awarded to Ulster Bank's E3.85 billion Celtic residential mortgage backed securitisation (RMBS), which was the largest securitisation ever from the Irish market and was one of the largest funding transactions ever undertaken by an Irish institution.
In order to recognise the growing role Ireland's wealthy are playing in the capital markets through private client syndicates, this year the 'Private Client Deal of the Year' was introduced. The first winner of this award is the E95 million private client investment in Airtricity, which came as part of a E380 million fundraising.

The project to build a road by-passing Limerick city was awarded 'Project Finance Deal of the Year'. It is the first Irish infrastructure project to have been bond financed.

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