On September 14, 2022, Becca Chappell was quoted in International Financial Law Review on the changing face of M&A activity in the United States. According to the article, concerns about soaring inflation and interest rates have replaced the sanctions climate as the key factors affecting deal flow. Meanwhile, the specter of the ongoing conflict remains, and it will continue to loom over market participants for a considerable period.
“We are seeing a return to more traditional partners and a fallback to relationships with Western Europe and the UK for the US, as these are very tried and true,” said Becca Chappell, transactional tax partner at Venable. “In contrast, there are less deals with Asia and Eastern Europe. The pandemic caused a bit of a pause on cross-border expansion, but it came back strong in 2021, with a big push to expand into many jurisdictions quickly. That has now frozen again, with a return to more traditional partner countries.”
While uncertainty will continue to permeate market conditions for quite some time, many have a positive outlook, and foresee a return to normalcy once the situation settles – not just in regard to the war in Ukraine, but also to inflation.
“People are a bit more risk-averse at the moment because they're waiting to see what happens – things have obviously shifted, but unemployment is still not where it typically is when a full recession has been reached,” said Chappell. “The question is whether there will be a quick rebound once we’ve hit the bottom, or whether a more sustained slowdown will set in. Regardless, I wouldn’t anticipate a pivot anytime soon – these things are usually set up months in advance and take a lot of time to filter through.”