Dan Malone in Law360: ‘Blank-Check Deals, Distressed M&A to Headline 2021 Trends’


Haynes and Boone, LLP Partner Dan Malone talked with Law360 about some of biggest merger and acquisition (M&A) trends attorneys should be keeping tabs on in 2021.

Here is an excerpt:

The coronavirus pandemic caused a short-term slowdown in the pace of deal-making last year, but players in the M&A space didn't spend too much time on the sidelines; after initial shockwaves from the virus-induced shutdowns decimated figures for the second quarter, the third and fourth quarters of 2020 were relatively strong. As of Dec. 10, the total value of U.S.-targeted M&A deals announced in the third and fourth quarters totaled $915 billion, far greater than the $378.4 billion overall value of deals across quarters one and two, according to data provided by Dealogic.

It's Going to be a Deal-Making Frenzy

There is pent-up demand from buyers of all kinds that were forced to put deal-making plans on hold last spring, but much of the uncertainty that existed in 2020 is no longer hanging over people's heads. Not only is the pandemic now baked into business planning, but the election of Joe Biden has reassured many potential investors.

The enthusiasm from deal makers can be seen in the results from Deloitte's Future of M&A Trends Survey, which polled 1,000 executives at U.S. corporations and private equity firms between Aug. 20 and Sept. 1, 2020. According to the survey, 61% of those polled expect M&A activity to return to pre-COVID-19 levels within the next year.

Dan Malone, a partner in the corporate and private equity practice groups of Haynes and Boone, LLP, pointed to food and beverage and consumer packaged goods industries as two industries where there will likely be lots of M&A activity in 2021.

"If you look at the status of most of our lives, people are spending more time at home," he said. "They're not eating out as much, they're not traveling, and they've got some discretionary income that they're spending on food and consumer packaged goods."

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