M&A review of 2020: Every cloud has a silver lining

Our role as a facilitator of mergers and acquisitions gives us a view into the inner workings of the financial machinery. During 2020, we observed several gear changes and, with the help of a few statistics, we would like to share with you our perspective of the pandemic shockwave and the progress of the ongoing recovery.

29.November 2022
Written by Nils Rynning Mork


Here is our M&A review of 2020:

A worrisome situation

When rumours and predictions of a global pandemic intensified in February 2020, our clients and their advisors took stock of their ongoing processes. As the weeks passed uncertainty only grew and the first trend in our statistics slowly started to emerge.

From April, we saw that many clients froze their processes, buying time to reevaluate their decisions. In a season that usually sees many processes starting up, we experienced a drop in activity, especially in May.

Increase in failed processes

When June arrived and the first wave of the pandemic subsided, some processes were stopped, and we had fewer new VDRs than usual for the season. But, equally, quite a few processes changed in scope and advisors appeared to show resilience in adapting to the new situation, continuing to help their respective parties find a path through the uncertainty. We expected an increase in solvency and restructuring cases at this time, and we saw some, but the most prominent effect of this period on the yearly statistics is an increase in failed processes compared to 2019.

Recovery and a ketchup effect

The market went into the summer holidays with a sense of unfinished business. In August, everything changed. There was a rush of transactions, many with tight deadlines, and most of the processes on hold got back into gear. The pent-up energy from spring seemed to be released, and decisive executives opted to act before the arrival of more uncertainties. This trend was maintained, and , in October 2020, we set a new record for the numbers of deals we assisted with. Over the year, we also saw a clear reduction in the average number of days between establishment and launch of live processes .


A silver lining

The positive trend is still ongoing, there is a lot of M&A activity at the moment and it seems that the collective perception of the pandemic is more stoic than many of our news sources would have us believe. Decisions will have to be made, no matter the circumstances, and we will be there to assist you in making the right ones.

Best of luck for the new year!