The New M&A (Second of a Series)

As we discussed last week in our special series on the new COVID-impacted M&A world, the volume of deal flow was off sharply at the onset of the crisis. But as deal makers adjusted to the new normal of business openings (and reversed openings) across the country, conversations are now back to deal processes.

What are some symptoms of the virus on these processes? “The time to market will inevitably elongate,” one top middle market banker told us. “Buyers and sellers will need longer preparation to assess the impact of COVID. The current quarter will be light in terms of volume because of that. What’s unknown is whether, given the ramp-up in cases, the period of uncertainty coming back to the US will stall the market.”

What kind of constraints are drags to M&A? “Travel restrictions are the most obvious,” another banker said. “Quarantines will slow down timelines, limiting the ability of management teams to build rapport with buyers, and to manage due diligence follow ups.”