COVID-19 M&A Implications

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a profound economic impact across the globe. Entire industries have ground to a halt and unemployment claims reached record highs, as demand has disappeared due to government-mandated restrictions. Not surprisingly, equity markets are pricing in this turmoil, with the S&P 500 index losing one-third of its value from February 19 to March 23. As of April 15, the S&P continues to be down by 18% from its February 19 peak. As the global public health and economic crises continue to unfold, companies should consider more than just the impact on operations. Valuations have declined significantly across the board, and the resulting market dislocation will likely bring a rise in contentious situations in mergers and acquisitions (M&A). This raises new challenges for boards and executive teams as companies are more vulnerable to potential attacks as compared to normal market conditions.

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