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Busy H1 for M&A market Back  
Deal value tops €7 billion as CRH drives deal volumes.
More than €7 billion of mergers & acquisition (M&A) deals were transacted in the first half of 2007, according to the latest Ion Equity survey. CRH was a large driver of foreign activity, spending €1,000 million on foreign acquisitions (over 30 companies) in the first half of 2007 alone.
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The largest deal of the second quarter occurred in June, when Quinlan Private completed its second major hotel transaction of the year with the €1165 million purchase of Jurys Inns.

CRH was again active, with five deals in the second quarter, including the €340 million takeover of Swiss firm, Getaz Romang. Some of the other deals transacted during the period include Knight Frank’s €10 million acquisition of Ganly Waters; the management buy-out of Dolmen Securities, which was estimated to be worth €40 million; Peter Lynch’s 20 per cent stake of Oakhill, which he has since re-named Prime Active Capital; and Brtivic’s €250 million acquisition of C&C’s soft drinks division.

Merrill Lynch was the top M&A adviser in the first half of 2007, according to Mergermarket, with 3 deals valued at almost €2,500 million, while NCB is the only Irish adviser to make the top five, with its four deals valued at almost €1,500 million. By deal volume, KPMG comes out on top, having advised on five deals in H1.

Looking forward, deal value for the third quarter is likely to be high, based on the €5.7 billion acquisition of Irish headquartered bank Depfa, by German real estate group, Hypo Real Estate. This deal marks the largest ever acquisition of an Irish firm.

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