- June issue: The 2020 Deals of the Year Awards recognise 36 winning Deals across Ireland's capital markets
A major theme that emerges is that clear evidence now exists that the practical advantages of Ireland as a leading common law jurisdiction in the EU27 is crystallising in terms of deals done. The Deals identify seven major deals that took place during the year notable as involving international recognition and use of Irish Law and the Irish justice system as a global reference point for deals with no specific grounding in the jurisdiction.
The deals also recognise Ireland's debt capital markets, and in Equity Capital Markets, while only one Irish IPO was launched in 2019, the Equity Capital Markets Deal of the Year was a spectacular success, that of Uniphar. Also recognised are the Bank of China acquisition of Goodbody, I-RES Reit, Greencore RCF and financing, and the Dublin Landings property finacing
Amongst the range of other deals are green Sustainability-linked deal awards, and a number of deals involving the financing of housing, and social housing, a major issue that was highlighted during the General Election earlier this year.
- Deals of the Year 2020: Equity Capital Markets
Uniphar plc, the Irish diversified healthcare services group, was the only company to complete an IPO on the Euronext Growth Market in 2019. The July IPO raised €139.4 million and facilitated a liquidity event for a large number of disparate holders of legacy interests in the group as well as providing investment capital to support growth in its rapidly developing Product Access and Commercial & Clinical Divisions and some of the funds raised have been deployed to date in completing the acquisition of Durbin in the UK and other acquisitions in Ireland and Europe.
- Deals of the Year 2020: Debt Capital Markets
The work of the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) throughout 2019 features strongly in amongst the DCM nominations this year. These include the €4 billion 30 Year benchmark bond issued in May 2019 with a coupon of 1.5 per cent (funds were raised at a yield of 1.53 per cent) and the €4 billion 10 Year benchmark bond issued in January 2019 with a coupon of 1.1 per cent (funds were raised at a yield of 1.123 per cent). Both issuances had orderbooks over EUR 18 billion and the January issuance had an order book in excess of EUR 18.1 billion, the largest ever received by Ireland for a syndicated bond sale.
- Deals of the Year 2020: Loans and Financing
AbbVie's $63bn acquisition of Allergan is set to be one of the biggest M&A deals in Irish corporate history when it closes, as expected, in the first quarter of 2020, and is the latest in a long line of pharma mega mergers over the past decade. The highest value nomination in the Loans & Financing category this year is the pre-financing element of the deal which has already been closed. It consisted of a massive $38 billion bridge loan facility (described as the tenth largest ever by Bloomberg) that was required to be in place before AbbVie’s offer could be made. The facility contributed to the cash portion of the acquisition and has since been refinanced by a term loan and bond issuance.
- Deals of the Year 2020: Financial services
The largest deal nominated in this year’s awards is in the Financial Services category and involves the migration of 10 of BlackRock’s Irish-domiciled money market funds (MMFs) to new structures in order to comply with new money market fund regulations. The mammoth project saw $140 billion of assets migrated and the creation of several new operational processes to ensure underlying clients could continue to benefit from intra-day liquidity in a low to negative yield environment. The project was completed under very tight timing constraints, with the final interpretation of a number of key legislative obligations only being made clear in the final two months of a two year implementation period.
- Deals of the Year 2020: Aviation Finance
The aviation finance deals reflect Ireland’s role as the leading aircraft leasing centre in the world. If you add in Ireland’s world-class securitisation infrastructure the result is a lot of aircraft-backed securitisation deals by world-leading aviation lessors and financiers.