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M&A trends in the opportunity economy | Womble Bond Dickinson

“Doing internal homework is essential for the seller’s internal legal counsel. You don’t want the buyer to come in and find something you didn’t know about, ”said Anderson. “When the salesperson has the luxury of time, when they can start 12-18 months getting things right, that’s best. It’s like selling your house – you don’t wait until the house is on the market to clean up the garage. “

On the buy side, Rutley said business leaders “should know what to buy, why to buy it, and how to integrate. And don’t cheat on due diligence – it may be the most mundane part of M&A, but the battle is won or lost with due diligence. They want to know as much as possible about the goal. “

Fortunately, early pandemic fears that travel restrictions could hamper integration plans didn’t turn out to be a problem. Companies found that they could integrate new acquisitions even in a virtual environment.

So what do business leaders have to pay attention to in the last quarter of 2021 and in the first half of 2022? Will the scorching M&A market continue to burn?

Anderson said the Biden administration’s strong antitrust push could be the biggest factor affecting the market over the next several quarters.

“We are already seeing a close examination not only of the largest deals, but also of the medium-sized, ordinary deals,” he said. “It’s not that the Justice Department is saying these deals can’t be closed, but it’s just the ghost of additional regulation and the time it takes to get those requirements done.”

However, Rutley noted that deals in the $ 10 million to $ 50 million range could fall under the radar of federal antitrust scrutiny.

While antitrust law may be an increasingly worrying area, Anderson believes that the prospect of a massive tax law overhaul is “likely more distant by the day,” and such discussions are unlikely to take place in the near future.

The tense talent market also remains an issue, both for in-house counsel and for external corporate lawyers. Some firms are aggressively hiring talent just to keep up with the tide of current work, a topic that American Lawyer recently explored in a recent article.

“The war for talents is definitely here and the grass on the other side of the hill isn’t always greener. But it’s a perfect storm for professional talent, ”said Anderson.

“Money is certainly important – you have to be able to pay the mortgage and the bills. But it becomes more important to listen to people about what they want from their careers. COVID has exposed the flexibility of the market and if we as employers are ready to do so in the form of flextime, free time, home office etc. Looking for. We are no longer in a uniform environment. “

In general, Rutley expects the M&A market to stay hot in the near future. Even if the pace is slowing down a bit, the market appears to be very busy for the remainder of 2021 and early 2022.

“Ouija Board of Directors says forget about retirement – there is too much work on the table!” He joked.

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