Looking back: the impact of the record-breaking M&A market on the trends and developments identified

Despite the enduring COVID-19 pandemic, 2021 was marked by global record-breaking M&A activity. This increase in M&A activity appears to have had a positive impact on the trends and developments we identified over 2021. We saw an uptick in enquiries about board observers. Similarly, doctrine on shareholder disclosure requirements for related party transactions in privately held Dutch companies has developed further in 2021.

In 2021, we also addressed the use of Dutch back-end measures by non-Dutch target companies to ensure a path to 100% ownership and obtain additional comfort on deal certainty. While available precedent remains limited, we expect this trend to continue as more such foreign companies become aware of the possibilities that Dutch law offers.

Looking ahead: the impact of record-breaking M&A activity in the longer term

General consensus among M&A professionals appears to be that M&A activity will continue to thrive in 2022. Notably, we expect that de-SPAC transactions will make up a significant part of activity in the high-end M&A market. As the first de-SPAC transactions are already completed in the Netherlands, this de-SPAC boom is expected to leave its mark on Dutch practice in 2022, whereby the trends identified over the past year will continue to play an important role.

Want to learn more? A trend report is freely available below.