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Tara Lachapelle

Zoom Deals Put Barbarians at the Virtual Gate

The global pandemic is giving businesses and buyout shops plenty of reasons to get back to dealmaking. How they do it will just require a bit more ingenuity.

Who’s got the password?

Who’s got the password?

Photographer: gorodenkoff/iStockphoto via Getty Images

There’s a long-running joke among my team’s deals writers and editors that in the corporate world, all roads eventually lead to mergers. Whatever is happening on the outside or on Wall Street — economic downturns, upturns, elections, currency fluctuations, CEO departures, CEO arrivals, good earnings, bad earnings, you name it — the case can somehow always be made, almost comically, that it’s an impetus for more corporate tie-ups. Warren Buffett would say that’s thanks to all the fee-hungry bankers playing to CEOs’ vain propensity for empire-building. Others say it’s the animal spirits at work.

Whatever the case, the global pandemic is giving businesses plenty of reasons to get back to dealmaking. Yes, even social distancing may draw some companies closer together. How they do it will just require a bit more ingenuity in a post-handshake, post-Covid-19 world.