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Dealmakers Getting Creative After Virus Upends M&A Market

  • Companies forced to finalize terms over video conferencing
  • Buyers’ advantage as sellers choose deals most likely to close
Updated on

As the coronavirus roils markets, dealmakers are pulling out all their tricks to get transactions done. Auctions are accelerating in case conditions worsen. Sellers are choosing cash upfront over higher offers; and they’re doing it all over video chat while pets and children roam in the background.

Welcome to M&A during a pandemic.

“I think people are grasping the fact they need to do their jobs when everyone is home, and you have to deal with your family and chores,” said David Gandler, chief executive officer of FuboTV Inc., which agreed on Monday to merge with FaceBank Group Inc. “This is creating some chaos but not too much. We all understand the situation.”

Indeed: Deals are still getting done, despite market turmoil whipsawing stocks, threatening liquidity and muddling valuation predictions. Companies have announced $67.5 billion of mergers, acquisitions and investments since the virus was deemed a pandemic on March 11, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.