We canvassed M&A veterans for their reflections on a changing environment for advisers as Brexit and uncertainty loom over Europe’s deal markets
Takeovers to come
‘What you have seen over the past 18 months is a larger number of major deals fall over, such as alliburton/Baker Hughes. There is no doubt antitrust has become harder in mega M&A, due to the number of jurisdictions you now have to file in and increased scrutiny from regulators. Parties to these deals have to have the appetite to live with a long gap between announcement and closing and be prepared to make divestments of the type we have seen in AB InBev/SABMiller. There are only a handful of top global firms that can provide the EU, US and Chinese antitrust advice on these type of deals.
We are confident there will be further foreign takeovers of UK plcs given the fall in sterling. Notwithstanding ongoing uncertainty around Brexit and the US elections, we are encouraged that the M&A landscape is quite well set for a stronger second half of the year.’
Charlie Jacobs, senior partner, Linklaters