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YouTube Friday:  M&A Back in Business of Law Vogue

YouTube Friday  M&A Back in Vogue

Deal-making is back in styled and the letters “M” and “A” for mergers and acquisitions are again gracing the headlines.  Those headlines also belong to publications focused on law:

For this week’s Friday Share we turn to Lee Pacchia who was formerly from Bloomberg Law and who has since founded a new business of law focused site called Mimesis Law.

Mr. Pacchia interviews Frank Aquila, a partner at Sullivan & Cromwell, who also pens a column for Businessweek, about the resurgence of M&A deals and what it means for law firms. The interview is embedded nearby and runs just about 11 minutes.

Characteristics of H1 M&A deals in 2014

  • Slower deals. Deals have risen, but corporations remain cautions about getting deals done.  Mr. Aquila says it’s because businesses are taking their time in performing due diligence and the negotiation process is lasting longer.
  • Easier on billable hours.  The slower process means legal work on these deals is easier to pace and getting done “upfront.”  This as opposed to the race – or the “mad dash” – to complete them under the compressed timelines characteristic of a pre-recession era.
  • Deal financing.  While corporate cash levels remain at record highs, many of these deals are being completed with stock, or a combination of cash and stock. Mr. Aquila offers three rationales:
    1. Tax purposes
    2. The acquiring company believes there’s an upside in the acquired company
    3. Businesses still have access to borrowed money at low rates

What areas are ripe for M&A?

Mr. Aquila sounded upbeat “across the board” on the potential for more deals.  He suggested the focus would remain on domestic deal-making – however he also noted we’ve seen more and more cross-border deals (it’s worth noting geo-political events remain a concern). Two vertical industries he thinks will have strong showing for the foreseeable future will be healthcare and technology.

* * *

What thoughts do you have on the resurgence of M&A and the impact on the business of law?

Photo credit: Flickr via Creative Commons (CC BY 2.0)

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About Frank Strong

Frank Strong
Frank Strong is the communications director for the LexisNexis software division located on NC State’s Centennial Campus in Raleigh. In this capacity, he leads communications efforts in support of software products for law practice and law department management and also litigation tools – across large law, small law and corporate counsel segments. With more than 15 years of experience in the high-tech sector, Strong previously served as director of public relations for Vocus, which developed marketing, PR and media monitoring software. He has held multiple roles both in-house with corporations, ranging from startups to global organizations, and has also endured the rigors of billable hours, having completed gigs at PR firms including the top 10 global firm Hill & Knowlton. A veteran of two year-long deployments, Strong has concurrently served in uniform in reserve components of the military for more than 20 years, initially as an enlisted Marine and later as an infantry officer in the Army National Guard. Strong holds a BA in Film and TV production from Worcester State University, an M.A. in Public Communication from American University, and an M.B.A. from Marymount University. He is a PADI-certified Master Scuba Diver and holds a USPA "B" skydiving license.