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State of the Market: Opportunistic Dealmakers are Ready for the Recovery

The M&A landscape is constantly changing, and the evolution of the dealmaking environment has been accelerated by the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, unprecedented stimulus packages and the change in U.S. administration. What sectors should opportunistic dealmakers be exploring? What obstacles or pitfalls may affect deal flow? In this new environment, how can dealmakers justify and position a proposed merger for a deal that seemingly can’t get done and what are key strategic steps that should be built into the plan? What does the new regulatory approval landscape look like? What role will M&A play in the overall global economic recovery?

Moderator: J. Neely, Managing Director, Mergers & Acquisitions Lead, Accenture Strategy

Panelist: Barry Blake, Global Co-Head of Healthcare Investment Banking, SVB Leerink

Panelist: Yue Bonnet, Principal, The Carlyle Group

Panelist: Jelena Guzenko, Head of Mergers & Acquisitions, Americas, Siemens Energy

Panelist: Julia Papastavridis, Managing Director, Aon

Panelist: Melissa Scanlan, Vice President, IP & Antitrust, T-Mobile

Keynote Interview

Interviewer: Armie Lee, Reporter, The Deal

Elizabeth A. Mily, Executive Vice President, Strategy & Business Development, Bristol Myers Squibb

Private Equity: Exploring Investor Expectations

Private Equity professionals continue to feel bullish and have a positive outlook for M&A, due to favorable credit conditions and large amounts of available dry powder. The market is seeing PE firms gravitating toward partnerships, co-investing and structured equity investments to remain flexible and creative. In such a competitive market, returns should be compressing but why are they not? What are the pressure points that are moving forward, or holding back the industry as a whole? How are ESG and investor demands shaping the way investors are approaching deals? What are investor expectations for the rest of the year and into 2022?

Moderator: Bruce K. Fenton, Partner, Troutman Pepper

Panelist: Vivianne Akriche, Managing Director, Eurazeo

Panelist: Jeffrey Armbrister, Head of Direct Equity Investments, Hamilton Lane

Panelist: Jason Strife, Head of Private Equity & Junior Capital, Churchill Asset Management

Corporate Dealmakers: Broadening M&A Options to Stay Competitive

It’s clear that M&A will continue to be a key strategic pillar for companies, with dealmakers expecting mergers and acquisitions to contribute significantly to their growth over the next few years. A combination of defensive and offensive M&A strategies should develop as companies attempt to preserve existing markets, accelerate recovery, and position themselves for growth. How are buyers assessing valuations amid the recovery? Have sellers’ expectations changed? What type of deal structures are favorable in the current market conditions? With an awareness for increased risks, what type of insurance and risk mitigation strategies are being established to protect all parties in the deal?

Moderator: David Marcus, Senior Writer, The Deal

Panelist: Deepak Gupta, Senior Vice President, Corporate Strategy, Covanta

Panelist: Chandradev Mehta, Director, Mergers and Acquisitions, LyondellBasell Industries

Panelist: Christina Ungaro, VP, Head of Corporate Development, Wind River

Post-Merger Integration Strategies: Optimizing Due Diligence and Pre-Close Activities

Successful integration is imperative to avoiding the risks of a merger or acquisition, and it is complicated by the fact that every deal is unique, and no two deals can be integrated the same way. Having a strong and proactive M&A integration plan is imperative to ensuring that the deal lives up to its projected value, and post-merger planning must start very early in the deal process. Companies must develop an integration strategy that includes a fundamental rethink of due diligence and discovery to ensure that the right skills are engaged at the right time to deliver a comprehensive plan for day one and beyond.

Moderator: Nikitha Sattiraju, Reporter, The Deal

Panelist: Desiree Castillejos, Chief Strategy Officer & VP of Corporate Development, Kimball Electronics

Panelist: Brian Walters, Senior Vice President & General Counsel, Matthews International

Panelist: Alexandros Aldous, General Counsel, Corporate Secretary & Chief Government Relations Officer, The Chefs’ Warehouse, Inc.

Panelist: Ronald Prague, Former Chief Legal Officer, Synchronoss Technologies, Inc.

The State of Middle Market Deal Flow

Companies that transformed through innovation and technology during the pandemic have emerged stronger, with increased efficiency and new products and services that disrupted the market. Valuations remain high, targets are coming from a growing pool of sellers, paused deals are re-emerging and private equity still has record amounts of capital to deploy. What role will M&A play in the overall global economic recovery? What sectors are dealmakers looking at for growth? What is the outlook for fundraising, and alternative deal structures? Will cross-border and cross-sector deals present opportunity during the recovery? What obstacles may affect deal flow?

Moderator: Kimberly Smith, Partner and Global Chair, Corporate Department, Katten

Panelist: Jaime Forsyth, Managing Director, Monomoy Capital Partners

Panelist: Jennifer Lee, Principal, Edison Partners

Panelist: Heather Madland, Partner, Huron Capital

Panelist: Meahgan O’Grady, Director, Business Development, Palladium Equity Partners

The Current State of Shareholder Activism

This past year has seen successes an array of campaigns by shareholder activists with an increased focus on ESG practices and several campaigns with a strong M&A theme. How important are ESG themes in an activism campaign? How is the M&A market currently being influenced by shareholder activism and vice versa? With the recent influx of SPAC entities on public exchanges, will we soon see a wave of SPAC activism? How do investors and proxy advisor firms think about these issues?

Moderator: Derek Zaba, Partner and Co-Chair, Shareholder Activism and Corporate Defense Practice, Sidley

Panelist: Ben Axler, Founder and Chief Investment Officer, Spruce Point Capital Management

Panelist: Josh Hochberg, General Manager, Edelman

Panelist: David Rosewater, Managing Director, Investment Banking Division, Morgan Stanley

Evaluating Transactions Based on ESG and Corporate Sustainability Transparency

ESG initiatives can severely impact profits and must be considered during the due diligence process of a transaction. How are buyers and investors evaluating targets based on ESG and sustainability transparency? How can these efforts affect valuations and sale processes? How do sellers ensure they are maximizing their ESG initiatives and show they are making progress on sustainability initiatives? What are the most important things for sellers to address when it comes to ESG?

Moderator: Ronald Orol, Senior Editor, The Deal

Panelist: Doug Barnard, Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary, CF Industries

Panelist: Michael Hyun, Deputy General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, PSEG

How are SPACs Impacting the M&A Landscape?

SPACs, also known as blank-check companies, have seen a recent resurgence but with new regulatory scrutiny, high-profile enforcement actions and high redemptions, longstanding concerns about the public shell companies have been revived. The SPAC market may have cooled a bit, but dealmakers are confident that the market will work out its current issues. How is the M&A market reacting the recent downturn? What will it take to revive the market?

Moderator: Jason Osborn, Partner, Winston & Strawn

Panelist: Guy Barudin, Director, Chardan

Panelist: David Dobkin, CFO, LifeSci Acquisition Corp.

Panelist: Eklavya Saraf, Global Head of SPAC Listings & Managing Director of New Listings, Nasdaq

Bruce Fenton on Private Equity Trends

Recently, Troutman Pepper partner Bruce Fenton was interviewed by Armie Lee of The Deal. Topics discussed include:

  • The private equity deal outlook for 2022, including which industries will likely see the most deal activity
  • How COVID-19 permanently changed the private equity space
  • How earnouts are being used to structure deals
  • The impact of ESG issues on private equity funds

Conversation on Recent RWI Challenges and Near-Term Outlook with The Deal

Recently, Armie Lee of The Deal interviewed Troutman Pepper Partner Jeremy I. Levy, discussing the following topics:

  • A look back at the environment for representations and warranties insurance at the end of 2021;
  • How that environment impacted buyers and sellers; and
  • The current outlook for RWI policies and the current policy terms.

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