Concerns that involve Brexit and Donald Trump, the President of the United States of America, saw the value of mergers and acquisitions deals that involve firms in Ireland drop by 57 percent to €7 billion (£6.1 billion) in 2018. The figure was down from approximately from the €15 billion (£13 billion) that was recorded in 2017.
Even though the number of deals slightly rose, from 151 to 162, the size of these deals were markedly lower, with the majority of them occurring in the “mid-market,” rather than at the higher end.
According to William Fry, a law firm which produced the research in partnership with specialist deals firm Mergermarket, Trump, Brexit, and the impact of trade wars have all contributed to this plunge.
Nearly half of the mid-market deals, which account for 90 percent of all transactions, were ranging from €15 million–€100 million
Companies in the United States have long been criticised for a process that is known as inversion, which sees huge multinationals merge with companies that are based in Ireland to take advantage of the lower corporate tax rate of the country.
During the US elections in 2016, Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential candidate, condemned the $16 billion merger of Johnson Controls with Ireland’s Tyco. She called the practice a “perversion.”
In November 2017, after Donald Trump was elected as the President of the United States, he went so far as to single out Ireland. He said that it was one of several countries that corporations utilised to offshore profits.
Other data has revealed that US investment in Ireland has observed an overall decline, a sign that the sweeping tax reforms that were introduced by Donald Trump had an effect on the decisions of American multinational firms.
The said reforms changed the minimum rate of effective tax on payments between corporations in the United States and foreign subsidiaries. It had long been mooted by the administration of President Trump.
Businesses in Ireland have long been concerned over the impacts of Brexit, with groups warning of “devastating” consequences for the country.