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Distressed M&A

When the market changes, a challenging environment creates new scenarios for investment.

The market dynamics of the longest run of a bull market, which defied gravity for years, has ended. As pressures on businesses mount, they are increasingly looking to investors to assist them in shaping their future business outlook and operations.

Press mentions

Clock runs out on troubled Hong Kong businesses as court reopens

"The absence of any restructuring regime doesn't help," said Jonathan Leitch, a Hong Kong-based partner at law firm Hogan Lovells. "The government has announced it will start a consultation process for corporate rescue regime, but it will likely be a number of years before anything comes into fruition, if at all."

Bloomberg - 3 May 2020

Hungry Chinese investors line up floundering British targets

Many Chinese companies are on the lookout for undervalued businesses and opportunities to increase stakes in British assets. Beijing-based Corporate partner Liang Xu comments on this trend in an article for The Telegraph.

The Telegraph - 18 April 2020

For bankers, cash is king as M&A goes MIA

Global M&A activity is down 28 percent compared to the same period last year, with many buyers looking to invoke MAC clauses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. London Corporate partner Sarah Shaw shared her insights with Financial News.

Financial News - 17 April 2020

Virus-related merger breakdowns draw suits trying to force deals

Washington, D.C. Corporate partner Elizabeth Donley says she anticipates many cases where parties look closely at the language in M&A deals that were signed before the pandemic to evaluate how to factor in the impact of COVID-19.

Bloomberg Law - 9 April 2020

Mergers and acquisitions on hold as pandemic disrupts markets

M&A activity is taking a big hit from the global COVID-19 pandemic, as businesses reassess their priorities and brace for what could be an extended period of economic turbulence. Northern Virginia Corporate partner Carine Stoick and New York Corporate partner Michael Szlamkowicz are quoted.

CQ Roll Call - 6 April 2020

Ripping up Europe's insolvency rules won't save its companies

Bankruptcy partner Ernesto Apuzzo spoke to Bloomberg Law about how law firms in Italy, one of the nations worst hit by COVID-19, are working on ways to ease the burden on borrowers.

Bloomberg Law - 5 April 2020

M&A crashes across the globe as coronavirus freezes economic activity

"Global dealmaking activity has hit a six-year low as the world comes to terms with the coronavirus pandemic's devastating impact on both human health and the global economy", said London Corporate partner, Ben Higson.

CityAM - 31 March 2020

Don't expect an M&A recovery until after 2Q, says Bill Curtin

Global head of M&A, Bill Curtin joined Alix Steel on Bloomberg Daybreak: Americas television show to discuss the current environment of M&A deal activity.

Bloomberg - 30 March 2020

Lease Strategies For Retailers Before And During Bankruptcy

"Ever-increasing store closures are putting tremendous pressure on landlords to fill vacant space to maintain a meaningful retail presence. This landscape presents a unique opportunity for landlords and retailers to employ creative strategies to preserve and fortify the brick and mortar retail industry."

Law360 - 13 March 2020

Big Law M&A work is evaporating as coronavirus spreads, but some firms are about to make bank. Here are the winners and losers

"Private-equity shops with mountains of dry powder are sitting on the sidelines and waiting to see how businesses cope before they swoop in, place their bets, and buy troubled companies, lawyers said. 'What you will typically see is a very robust period of activity once that clarity steps in,' said David Gibbons, the head of Hogan Lovells' private-equity practice in London."

Business Insider - 13 March 2020

Virus Outbreak Could Lead Companies to Renegotiate M&A Deals

"Some dealmakers are seeking to change the terms of pending transactions, while others are postponing deals, Hogan Lovells said in a report Tuesday. In some cases, parties are weighing the possibility of triggering so-called 'material adverse change' clauses that allow them to pull out of a deal agreement without the usual penalties, according to the law firm."

Bloomberg - 11 March 2020

Coronavirus alters the merger playbook for dealmakers

"The epidemic doesn't necessarily qualify as a material adverse effect because it isn't currently considered a long-term change, and its existence and potential business impact on various industries is highly visible, said Michael Szlamkowicz, a New York-based partner at the law firm Hogan Lovells."

Pitchbook - 11 March 2020

Return of the MAC? Coronavirus could be the new negotiating leverage in deals

"MAC clauses allow a buyer or seller to back out of a deal in the event of a material change in the business, operations or financial conditions of a company. 'A small number of clients have asked us to do this already and we anticipate that more clients may consider requesting us to review documents and evaluate their situation,' said Liang Xu, a partner at law firm Hogan Lovells in Beijing."

MarketWatch - 3 March 2020

Coronavirus could herald return of the MAC

"Spooked by the rapid spread of the Covid-19 virus, companies and buyout groups worldwide are quietly starting to ask their lawyers whether they can invoke so-called material adverse change clauses and walk away from deals."

Private Equity News - 29 February 2020

What's in a name? Corporate dealmakers tussle over coronavirus references

"...with the S&P 500 Index losing close to 12% of its value in the last five days as a result of the outbreak, some companies are asking for specific references to coronavirus in contracts with acquirers, corporate attorneys said. 'The discussion is happening,' said David Gibbons, partner at law firm Hogan Lovells. 'Sellers want to carve out the impact of coronavirus, and buyers are pushing back on that.'"

Reuters - 29 February 2020

Coronavirus outbreak rains on dealmakers' M&A parade

"'I was ready to make the bold prediction that the total dollar volume of U.S. tech M&A activity this year would exceed last year’s total. But the spread of the coronavirus has changed my thinking,' said Rick Climan, Silicon Valley-based M&A partner at law firm Hogan Lovells."

Reuters - 28 February 2020

Thinking ahead – distressed M&A in uncertain times

"Successful restructurings require advance planning and clear strategies. Restructuring is a team sport in any cycle, so it's never too early to start assembling, or at least thinking about, the financial and legal players you'll want on your side."

Bloomberg Law – 16 January 2020

PE may be 2020 M&A lifeline as uncertainty rattles market

"Private equity buyers and their mass amounts of capital are slated to help keep M&A active in the coming year, as growing concerns about the economic outlook and geopolitics infuse more uncertainty into an already cautious deals market."

Law360 – 1 January 2020

US dealmaking falters in Q3 amid recession concerns

"The uncertainty we're seeing as a result of the lack of visibility and predictability on what regulations will ultimately come into play in response [to] global geopolitical dynamics," said Elizabeth Donley, a Hogan Lovells LLP partner. "That has a very real impact on looking at transactions, looking at M&A, and evaluating how to navigate regulatory uncertainty from both U.S. and foreign investors’ perspectives."

Law360 – 8 October 2019

5 ways capital markets lawyers can prepare for a recession

"If there aren't offerings going on because there is a recession, there are still issues that need to be dealt with," Bonser said. "Even if it's not necessarily my skill set, [I can] find others within our firm who can deal with their problems."

Law360 – 4 October 2019

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