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Matheson’s Growth Mirrors the Big Opportunity for Ireland Inc.

AUTHORs: Robert O'Shea DATE: 03/08/2017

  • Robert O’Shea speaks to the Irish Examiner about his appointment as head of the Corporate and Commercial Department
  • Brexit isn’t slowing down the growth of business opportunities in Ireland
  • Matheson’s strategic new location in San Francisco places it in prime position to meet international business needs

Ireland remains the best small country in the world in which to do business, according to Robert O’Shea, the newly appointed head of Matheson’s Corporate and Commercial Department.

Although Brexit is causing some businesses to delay key decisions pending greater economic certainty, Matheson has seen a surge of business across every department. With offices in Dublin, London, New York, Palo Alto, and San Francisco, Matheson has both a domestic and international viewpoint on the strong level of interest in mergers and acquisitions at present.

Last year, the Corporate and Commercial Department represented client deals in excess of €32.6 billion, a sum which underlines the extent to which business is booming in Ireland. In 2016, Matheson secured a 64% increase in M&A deal value totalling more than €32.6 billion. In March of this year, Matheson advised on the €136 million acquisition of Irish haircare brand Viviscal, whose haircare supplement is sold in more than 25,000 stores across the US, with sales of €38 million in 2016. Matheson also advised Scandi on its €94 million acquisition of Meath-based Manor Farm, Ireland’s largest chicken processor and market leader.

 “I am excited by our potential to grow in the next three to five years,” said Robert O’Shea, who brings considerable Irish and US experience to his new role. “We expect to see a lot of growth in mergers and acquisitions and I look forward to seeing the firm grow further in that area.”

 “The last two years have been very busy for us, notably representing Irish and US companies,” said Mr O’Shea. “Our story here is a mirror image of what is still making Ireland tick. Our decision to open a new office in San Francisco is about being close to where the opportunities are emerging.

“In the mid-nineties, we opened in California, at a time when Microsoft and Google were looking at Ireland not only from a tax perspective, but also from a talent perspective. We are now seeing other opportunity for business emerging from the US.”

In 2000, Robert O’Shea was named partner and head of international business in Matheson’s Dublin office, having previously spent time working in the US as in-house counsel in Schering Plough (now Merck & Co.). He studied law at University College Galway, as well as Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium.

Reflecting on where he sees business going next, Mr O’Shea said, “the Brexit environment is a symptom of the role which uncertainty plays in business. In Ireland now, as we’ve learned over the last 30 to 40 years, if we can offer some certainty, we will continue to be the best small country in the world in which to do business. After Brexit, people will still come to Europe to do business, and we’ll soon be the only ones who are English-speaking and with the same Common Law system as the US.

The firm has made a number of recent investments to ensure that we continue to advise on the most significant corporate transactions involving Irish and international companies,” said Robert O’Shea.

*Excerpts from this article were printed in The Irish Examiner, 28th July 2017.