Category: Insight

Articles and updates affecting M&A transactions

2021 M&A Editorial Advisory Board

Caitlin Gibson has been named to Law360’s 2021 M&A Editorial Advisory Board, which provides feedback on Law360’s coverage and expert insight on how best to shape future coverage. Read the Law360 article here (Subscription required) Contributors Caitlin Gibson

Past Event: 2021 TechGC M&A Forum

The M&A ecosystem has continued to grow, evolve, and morph through the pandemic, economic cycles and the rise and fall of various industries. Building on buyside and sellside M&A conferences last year, this 201-level virtual conference focused on studying the most notable, recent M&A deals from the point of view […]

Past Event: The Tech M&A Bounceback

Axios + Cooley hosted a virtual event on new deal-making in tech M&A. We discussed the future of the market and how innovative teams are getting things done. Axios Technology & Business Reporter Kia Kokalitcheva and Business Editor Dan Primack hosted conversations with: Stewart Butterfield – Co-founder & CEO, Slack […]

SPAC Trend Gives Rise to Securities Enforcement and Litigation Risks

What is a SPAC Special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) are on the rise. A SPAC is a publicly traded shell company with no underlying operating business that seeks to merge with a target operating company. According to Nasdaq, in 2015, SPACs made up approximately 12% of the IPO market, but by […]

Podcast: For Women to Climb in M&A, Male Allyship is ‘Essential’

In an installment of Law.com’s “Legal Speak” podcast, Jamie Leigh, partner and co-chair of Cooley’s mergers and acquisitions practice group, discusses the various levels of support needed to help build more diverse and equitable M&A teams in Big Law, including male allyship, as well as the importance of strategic thinking […]

HSR Headwinds: FTC Hits ‘Pause Button’ on HSR Early Terminations

Parties to transactions requiring filings under the Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Act are already facing considerable headwinds from US President Joe Biden’s antitrust enforcement agencies on important substantive and procedural issues that will delay transactions closing and potentially increase compliance costs and burdens. The HSR Act requires parties to transactions that meet certain financial thresholds to notify the […]

Hart-Scott-Rodino Act Thresholds Decrease for 2021

Baseline HSR threshold now $92 million The Hart-Scott-Rodino Act requires that parties to certain transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, acquisitions of voting securities, and assets and minority investments, file notifications with the Department of Justice Antitrust Division and the Federal Trade Commission and observe a statutory waiting period if the transaction […]

Past Event: TechGC SPAC & Direct Listings Forum

SPACs and Direct Listings have emerged as a significant new liquidity path for high growth tech companies over the last several months. In this three-day virtual forum, we’ll discuss how to approach these liquidity events strategically including evaluating which structure to use, understanding economics / dilution, and how to execute […]

Cooley’s 2020 Tech M&A Year in Review

A Tale of Two Years While we continue to absorb and understand the worldwide pandemic shockwaves of 2020, trying to encapsulate the vicissitudes of the past year in an annual recap is daunting. Early weeks of the pandemic created an almost inconceivable shift in dealmaking – lawyers and advisors conditioned […]

Cooley’s 2020 Life Sciences M&A Year in Review

General Trends in Life Sciences M&A If 2019 was the year of life sciences mega-deals, 2020 was the year of COVID-19, as the global pandemic permeated every aspect of the dealmaking landscape, with the life sciences sector being no exception. COVID-19 drove unprecedented levels of collaboration among biopharmaceutical companies seeking […]

Delaware Puts the Conduct of Business Covenant on Center Stage in COVID-Related M&A Dispute

In the months following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, a slew of parties filed lawsuits in US courts relating to M&A transactions that were signed prior to March 2020 and that buyers were seeking to terminate as a result of the pandemic. In these lawsuits, buyers commonly alleged one […]

Past Event: SPACs: The Next Gen IPO or Just a Fad?

On November 24th, Burson Cohn & Wolfe (BCW) brought together experts from across financial services to discuss current activity and prospects for special purpose acquisition companies (“SPAC”). The discussion was moderated by Gus Okwu, an EVP in BCW’s Corporate Group with a focus on financial communications, and the speakers included: […]

Americas Antitrust Review 2021

Covid-19 has made 2020 into a year like no other with ‘stay at home’ orders and working from home the new normal. Nonetheless, the tech and pharma industries continued to attract immense antitrust scrutiny, with daily reports in the media and pressure from politicians to address what some perceive to […]

IRS Releases Guidance on PPP Loans and Employee Retention Tax Credits

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued several items of new guidance relating to loans under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), including two new FAQs addressing the interaction of PPP loans and employee retention tax credits (ERTCs) in M&A transactions, a Revenue Ruling holding that expenses funded by PPP loans […]

Highlights from Cooley’s M&A Dealmakers Roundtable: SPACs!

On September 24, Cooley M&A partner, Garth Osterman, moderated a webinar on the current trend in going public: SPACs! Dave Peinsipp, co-chair of Cooley’s capital markets practice group and Rama Padmanabhan, a Cooley M&A partner participated in the webinar which focused on the current wave of SPAC activity and how […]

DOJ Issues Merger Remedies Manual as Both DOJ and FTC Step Up Efforts to Enforce Consent Decrees

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Antitrust Division issued a new Merger Remedies Manual on September 3, clarifying the analytical framework it is using to evaluate remedies that may address competitive harms stemming from proposed mergers and acquisitions, as well as from consummated mergers. In announcing the modernized Manual, Assistant […]

SBA Issues Guidance for Borrower Changes of Ownership

Over the last few months, dealmakers have worked creatively in M&A transactions to give borrowers of PPP loans the benefit of their bargain with the government—forgiveness of the loan—rather than treat the PPP loan as outstanding debt requiring discharge at closing (which would typically result in a further reduction in […]

Investment Funds Beware: Proposed HSR Amendments Would Increase Reporting Obligations

The US Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice announced proposed changes to the rules governing Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) filings that, if implemented, would significantly increase the number of transactions that must be reported to the antitrust agencies – primarily by private equity, venture capital and other investment funds – as […]

Pandemic-Related Deal Litigation Highlights Buyer Leverage in Transactions Requiring Debt Financing

In a May blog post we discussed several initial observations regarding the dozens of M&A transactions that were signed prior to March 2020 and that were in jeopardy as a result of COVID-19. Since that post, the Delaware Chancery Court has had the opportunity to consider some preliminary issues relating […]

Drinks with the Deal: Cooley’s Jamie Leigh

Jamie Leigh, partner and co-chair of the M&A practice group, discusses advising tech and life sciences companies, her work for Mirror on its agreement to sell to Lululemon and how she’s staying sane in the pandemic on this installment of Drinks With The Deal, a podcast series hosted by David […]

Do We Have a Quorum?

Although its final episode aired more than a decade ago, there is still debate about the ending of HBO’s critically-acclaimed series, the Sopranos. In fact, as one critic notes, “the only objectively true statement that can be made about that ending is that it’s ambiguous.”[1] This ambiguity was embraced and lauded […]

Renegotiating Deal Terms? Delaware Reminds Fiduciaries of Unremitting Duties

In Captain Phillips, a pirate hijacks a ship and turns to the captain and says (in what is an amazing improvised line) “Look at me, I’m the captain now.”[1]  While the comparisons between piracy and M&A will take us only so far, let us start with an observation: boards and […]

10 Key Considerations for Going Public with a SPAC

It is a reasonable extrapolation – and we are nothing at Cooley if not wildly reasonable – that more operating companies are considering going public through a merger with a SPAC (commonly referred to as a backdoor IPO) since the beginning of time. There have been some great examples of […]

SEC Amendments to Financial Disclosure Requirements Provide a Welcome Reprieve for Carve-Out Transactions

As previously reported in this Cooley PubCo post, on May 21, the SEC adopted final amendments to the financial disclosure requirements for the acquisition and disposition of businesses. One change relating to the use of abbreviated financial statements stands out as a welcome reform for public or pre-public biopharma and […]

Recorded Roundtable: Assessing Strategic Dealmaking in a Volatile Covid-19 Market

In partnership with The Deal, we hosted a recent discussion with Uber Head of Corporate Development Jennifer Jarret, Goldman Sachs Head of Technology, Media and Telecom M&A Sam Britton, and Cooley M&A Co-Chair Jamie Leigh on navigating unchartered waters when it comes to assessing the current market for dealmaking. Amid […]

Key Themes From Cooley’s M&A Dealmakers Roundtable: Insights on the Life Sciences M&A Market

On May 27th, Andy Pasternak, Executive Vice President, Chief Strategy Officer at Horizon Therapeutics and Eric Tokat, a partner in the healthcare practice at Centerview Partners joined Cooley M&A co-chair, Barbara Borden for a discussion of the life sciences M&A market, with a focus on business development. As part of […]

SEC Adopts Final Amendments for M&A Financial Statement Disclosure

Yesterday, once again without an open meeting, the SEC voted (with a dissent from Commissioner Allison Lee) to adopt amendments to the requirements for financial statements relating to acquisitions and dispositions of businesses.  According to the press release, the amendments are intended to improve disclosure of financial information, facilitate more […]

Social Distancing From a (Supposed) Life Partner: Early Lessons From Deals Terminated and On the Rocks in the COVID-19 Era

In “La La Land,” Damien Chazelle’s Oscar winning film, the audience thinks it has a formulaic Hollywood love story on its hands: boy and girl meet; boy and girl fall in love; boy and girl break up; and boy and girl get back together. But in a twist on the […]

Whataday for Special Committees: Salladay v. Lev Clarifies Committee Formation Requirements in Non-MFW Scenarios

In late February as the COVID-19 pandemic was accelerating, the Delaware Chancery Court issued an important decision that is likely to impact transactions during the expected recession. In Salladay v. Lev, C.A. No. 2019-0048-SG (Del. Ch. Feb. 27, 2020) (“Salladay”), the court held that a conflicted transaction – not involving […]

Long-Term Focus: Preparing for Activism + Takeovers Amid COVID-19 Risks

Last week we cautioned that market volatility resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic could lead to increasing levels of shareholder activism and unsolicited takeover offers. Although the pandemic has raised countless new risks, companies remain vulnerable to activism attacks that focus on short-term objectives and opportunistic takeover bids stemming from the […]

Webcast Recording: Berkeley Boosts Shorts presents Financial Crises + M&A Markets

Berkeley Boosts Shorts are daily conversations with leaders from law and business. On Tuesday, March 24, Cooley M&A co-chair Jamie Leigh spoke on the topic of financial crises + M&A markets. View recording

Navigating Today: Public Company Hot Spots and M&A Negotiations with the Impact of COVID-19

With last Wednesday’s categorization by the World Health Organization of COVID-19 as a pandemic, schools, places of business and other venues throughout the United States quickly closed in-person locations and moved to remote connectivity as efficiently as possible. On Sunday, the governor of California called for all bars and nightclubs […]

CFIUS Update: Final Regulations Implement FIRRMA

The US Department of the Treasury has issued two final regulations implementing the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act of 2018. The final regulations broadly expand the jurisdiction of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States to review foreign investment transactions that implicate US national security concerns and […]

Cooley’s 2019 Tech M&A Year in Review

In the wake of record-setting volume and value metrics in 2018, practitioners eyed the 2019 deal market with healthy skepticism.  Despite a slight downward tick in momentum and overall deal statistics, 2019 remained a robust, dynamic and competitive market with tech deals outpacing other sectors in both volume and critical […]

Cooley’s 2019 Life Sciences M&A Year in Review

2019 was a banner year for billion-dollar life sciences M&A transactions. A wave of big-ticket transactions by global pharmaceutical companies drove life sciences M&A activity to its fourth-largest year on record in 2019, with aggregate deal value in the pharmaceutical, medical and biotech industry reaching $234.2 billion – almost double […]

Representation & Warranty (R&W) Insurance – Current Market Trends

Over the last decade the use of R&W insurance in merger and acquisition transactions has grown exponentially. From 2008 to 2018, the total R&W policies bound per year in North America rose from 40 deals, providing $541 million of coverage to 1500+ R&W insurance transactions, providing aggregate coverage of $38.6 […]

Taking a Play out of the Financial Acquirer’s Playbook

As the NFL season gets underway, it is interesting to see how certain plays go from fringe status to near-universal. A recent example is the “run-pass option” that, before finding a home in every NFL team’s playbook, was used only in high school and college football games. [1] Coaches survey plays […]

Use of Earn-Outs to “Bridge” the Valuation Gap

There’s an old saying, probably at some point attributed to Abraham Lincoln or Einstein, that a bridge shows no allegiance to either side. It’s a wonderful metaphor and one that dealmakers would be wise to remember when working to construct agreements to solve for divergent views on value. What two […]

Inadequate Cybersecurity and Data Privacy Due Diligence Alleged in Starwood Deal as UK ICO Fines Marriott $125M for GDPR Violations

On July 9, 2019, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) publicly announced its intent to impose a £99M (approximately $123M) GDPR fine on Marriott as a result of its acquisition of Starwood and the subsequent discovery and notification of a data breach at Starwood. While some may view this as […]

Dual-Track Processes: How to Turbocharge Your Exit

Exiting an investment is an inherently uncertain process. Even for a thriving business with a viable equity story, committed stakeholders and the right advisers, the final deal terms and valuation are typically guided by factors beyond a company’s control. These include prevailing market sentiment, current appetite for acquisitions in a […]

Antitrust Trends in 2019: Enforcement Watch List for the Year to Come

As 2019 kicks off, the Cooley antitrust group highlights 10 recent developments and trends corporate counsel should be aware of – from the US Supreme Court and lower courts, the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission and enforcers around the world – that are likely to impact businesses this […]

Top 10 Cross-Border M&A Trends across the Pond

In spite of a general environment of political and economic uncertainty and a daily sprinkling of stock market volatility, trade wars, sanctions, the U.S. government shutdown disrupting the market for IPOs, Brexit uncertainty, natural disasters and various other crises, cross-border M&A activity momentum continues. New records were attained in the […]

MAEjor Ruling: Delaware Court of Chancery Finds Target Suffers Material Adverse Effect and Acquirer Could Back Out of Transaction

M&A practitioners have long advised boards of directors that the Delaware courts have never found that the events or circumstances in a particular transaction met the contractual standard of having a material adverse effect (or MAE) as defined in a merger or acquisition agreement. Therefore, the board should have a […]

US vs UK Private M&A – Two Agreements Divided by a Common Language?

The two legal systems that most often govern cross-border private M&A transactions are US (most commonly Delaware) law and English law. To the untrained eye, acquisition and sale agreements governed under either system may appear very similar, and differences are classified as “form over substance.” There are, however, a handful […]

CFIUS Pilot Program to Require Mandatory Notification of Certain Transactions

On October 10, 2018, the US Department of the Treasury issued a set of interim regulations for a pilot program implementing certain provisions of the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act of 2018, which President Trump signed into law August 13, 2018. Read full article  

The Antitrust Review of the Americas 2019

High-tech antitrust enforcement is at the top of the Trump administration antitrust enforcement agenda, including challenges to mergers affecting technology platforms and the pharma and life sciences industries. Statements by senior leadership at both the US Department of Justice and US Federal Trade Commission promise vigorous enforcement in tech and pharma industries, and recent […]

CFIUS Reform Puts Spotlight on Tech Companies, Foreign Government-Controlled Investors

On August 13, 2018, President Trump signed the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2019. The NDAA includes the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act, which expands the power of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States to review certain investments in US businesses […]

How much disclosure of deal dirty laundry is necessary in order to fully inform a Corwin/Volcano cleansing vote?

In Elizabeth Morrison v. Ray Berry et. al., (dated July 9, 2018), the Delaware Supreme Court reversed the Delaware Chancery Court’s dismissal of deal litigation based on obtaining a cleansing vote under Corwin/Volcano because the defendants failed to show “as required under Corwin” that the vote was fully informed. The […]

UK Government Proposes New Regime for Acquisitions That Have National Security Implications

On 24 July 2018, the UK government published details of its proposed new regime for the scrutiny of foreign investments that may have national security implications. The details are contained in the National Security and Investment White Paper and a draft Statutory Statement of Policy Intent (together, the “Proposals”). The […]

Breaking multiple records across the board

Cooley M&A partner Michal Berkner comments in Acquisition Daily on the active year in M&A dealflow. “Conditions continue to be ripe for high levels of cross border M&A activity in the months ahead – cash rich corporates, Private Equity and funds with unprecedented levels of dry power and ticking investment […]