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31 March 2020 / news

Belgian M&A in times of COVID-19 – How to mitigate uncertainty and unexpected delays?

The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has created unprecedented and unseen challenges for M&A markets. The crisis abruptly interfered with virtually any deal on the table, in each phase of the transaction.

The coronavirus forces companies (on both buyer as seller side) to shift focus to mitigating the impact on operations and supply chain, challenges in management of employees, and more broadly on business going forward. Combined with external delaying factors and practical problems such as difficulties in timely obtaining merger clearances and other third-party consents, present deal flows will most likely be adversely affected and some of the initiated deals may be aborted or put on hold in the weeks to come.

In this note we explore a few ways to help identify and mitigate uncertainties and unexpected delays in connection to COVID-19 in M&A transactions under Belgian law.

Conclusion

As the impact of the sudden COVID-19 pandemic remains unpredictable it goes along with a high degree of uncertainty which is to be addressed between M&A transaction parties. Removing uncertainty from M&A transactions is impossible but cautious dealmakers may mitigate the uncertainty caused by COVID-19 to some extent through increased due diligence and careful contract drafting, deploying some or all of the above considerations.



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