Category: Insight

Articles and updates affecting M&A transactions

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 […]

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

Driven by ongoing market pressures brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen a surge of interest in special purpose acquisition (SPAC) transactions from companies across sectors. During this session, we will hear from industry lawyers, exchange executives, and investment bankers on key considerations for navigating a SPAC merger, […]

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 […]

UK Government Introduces Lower National Security Merger Review Thresholds

Under new measures coming into force on 11 June, the UK government will have greater powers to intervene in mergers that potentially raise national security concerns due to the target’s involvement in military and dual-use technologies and certain categories of advanced computer technology. Such transactions will be reviewable by the […]

Ninth Circuit Rules Tender Offer Disclosure Challenges Do Not Require Proof of Intent to Deceive

On April 20, 2018, the Ninth Circuit ruled that shareholder claims for false or misleading tender offer disclosures under Section 14(e) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 require a mere showing of negligence, rather than fraudulent intent (scienter). This holding departs from longstanding rulings by five other federal appeals […]

M&A: Key Considerations in Transactions with EU Employees

The employment law landscape across the EU Member States is often markedly different from that in the US. Here, we take a look at five important employment issues to be aware of when a transaction includes employees in the EU. 1. Employee Representative Organizations. At the outset of any transaction […]

M&A Guide to CFIUS: How the Review Process Can Impact Your Transaction

Article 2 of 4 As discussed in a prior article in this series, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States is authorized to review certain cross-border mergers, acquisitions and investment transactions and to recommend that the US president take action to mitigate any perceived national security concerns with […]

The Cooley Outlook for 2018 M&A

What’s on tap for 2018 M&A? A recap of 2017 trends and the Cooley outlook on this year’s dealmaking: Buying Innovation: Retention and Non-Competes. For both old-line companies and tech giants, innovation is the name of the game. It is often difficult for large companies to foster innovation organically for […]

Antitrust 2018: Trends and Developments to Watch

Trump’s agency appointments are setting the antitrust agenda in 2018. We offer insights on what to expect in the new year, including an increased scrutiny on vertical mergers; a heightened focus on structural remedies in enforcement actions; a continued spotlight on the pharmaceutical industry – particularly with respect to proposed […]

TechCrunch Equity Podcast: 2017’s Top Tech Acquisitions and What’s in Store for 2018

The January 12, 2018, edition of TechCrunch’s weekly venture capital-focused podcast, Equity, looks back at the past year’s M&A transactions and evaluates what’s in store for 2018. Cooley partner and co-chair of the firm’s M&A practice, Jamie Leigh, discusses 2017’s market uncertainty while predicting a more competitive and bold M&A […]

Delaware Supreme Court Reverses Dell’s Merger Appraisal Price Bump

On December 14, 2017, the Delaware Supreme Court reversed and remanded the Court of Chancery’s appraisal of the fair value of Dell Inc. The trial court’s 2016 ruling, which found that a $25 billion management-led buyout undervalued the computer giant by about $7 billion, sent shock waves across the M&A landscape […]

Trump Antitrust Appointees Finally Set: What to Expect

Leadership at the top of the Department of Justice Antitrust Division and Federal Trade Commission appears to be set – nine months into the Trump Administration – with the confirmation of Makan Delrahim as Assistant Attorney General at DOJ and the announcement of the intention to nominate Joseph Simons to […]

The Art of Drafting Milestones for an Earn-Out

Former stockholders of SARcode Bioscience were recently denied a claim that they were entitled to be paid $425 million in milestone payments under a merger agreement. The decision provides an anecdotal lesson in drafting milestones and suggests that the more technically prescribed milestones may be more difficult to meet, even […]

M&A Guide to CFIUS: How the Review Process Can Impact Your Transaction

Article 1 of 4 The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (“CFIUS” or “the Committee”) has received much attention over the past several months for its role in blocking two separate Chinese acquisitions of US semiconductor companies. In September 2017, President Trump issued an Executive Order prohibiting Canyon Bridge Capital […]