“Welcome to M&A During a Pandemic”

Bloomberg writers Dinesh Nair, Liana Baker, and David Hellier reported this week that, “As the coronavirus roils markets, dealmakers are pulling out all their tricks to get transactions done. Auctions are accelerating in case conditions worsen. Sellers are choosing cash upfront over higher offers; and they’re doing it all over video chat while pets and children roam in the background.

Welcome to M&A during a pandemic.

“‘I think people are grasping the fact they need to do their jobs when everyone is home, and you have to deal with your family and chores,’ said David Gandler, chief executive officer of FuboTV Inc., which agreed on Monday to merge with FaceBank Group Inc. ‘This is creating some chaos but not too much. We all understand the situation.'”

The Bloomberg article stated that, “Indeed: Deals are still getting done, despite market turmoil whipsawing stocks, threatening liquidity and muddling valuation predictions. Companies have announced $67.5 billion of mergers, acquisitions and investments since the virus was deemed a pandemic on March 11, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“To be sure, that’s less than half the amount during the same period a year earlier, meaning 2020 could be one of the worst years for M&A in a decade if that pace holds. And some transactions coming together now will have been percolating since before the outbreak.

Still, private equity buyers in particular have been snapping up assets despite the volatility. Buyout firm KKR & Co.’s 4.2 billion pound ($4.9 billion) deal for Pennon Group Plc’s waste-management arm Viridor Ltd. came together much faster than a regular auction, people familiar with the negotiations said.”

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