Financial Transactions and Regulatory Compliance Review

Covering the latest in capital markets transactions, funds, annuities, financial reporting and SEC filings

Top Mergers of 2017 So Far

When it comes to dealmaking, understanding trends can be like reading tea leaves. Sometimes a high frequency of deals means a thriving market and sometimes it represents companies banding together for survival. Infrequent deals could represent a high level of confidence in going it alone, or companies at loggerheads and unable to come to a mutually beneficial deal in turbulent times. Thus far it’s not clear exactly what it means that 2017 saw the biggest dealmaking start in 7 years, but for better or worse this year has definitely been a busy one for M&A. Let’s take a look at some of the big deals of the year thus far and try to see what the tea leaves say.

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Slim Down to Bulk Up: How Divesting Can Boost Growth

Nearly a decade after the Great Recession began, the world economy has largely evened out and, for the most part, recovered. But economic conditions remain shaky in some ways, leading businesses to remain cautious in their plans and dealings. One of the major revelations of the last few years has been that big businesses may not be the best business and that a more streamlined model might allow for more agile navigation of market conditions. So while Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) volume fell by 17% in 2016, the number of divestitures rose by a whole 50%. Is this a sound trend to follow, and if so, why?

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2017 Set to Be a Good Year for M&A

Economic recovery has been slow but steady since the Great Recession began in 2008. Like many aspects of the global market, mergers & acquisitions (M&A) has had trouble reaching its former heights since the crisis. Things have not been terribly sluggish, as companies are still prone to band together for security during trying fiscal years, but the M&A market continues playing catchup and experiencing start-and-stop growth. Fortunately, experts believe 2017 will be a strong year for the practice. Despite unexpected election results in both the United States and Europe casting future economic progress into doubt, global M&A is set to exceed $3.4 trillion in 2017.

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Private Equity in 2016: Top Trends in a Year of Low investment

The global financial crisis of 2008 has come and gone but its impact is still being felt in markets around the world. Investment is down in 2016, and quarterly trends are showing no signs of a dramatic comeback anytime soon. In the face of this overall diminishment in the markets, private equity firms need to devise new strategies to survive and even thrive this fiscal year. By examining some of these strategies and trends, it’s possible to weather the market downturn with style and be ready when the bear becomes a bull, hopefully sooner rather than later.

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Tips for Equity Crowdfunding and Investing

The internet has changed the way people invest, from paying in advance for a cool game, gadget, or project on Kickstarter, to funding creative lifestyles on Patreon, to buying shares in a new business with equity crowdfunding. Thanks to SEC Regulation A+, companies can now raise up to $50 million in capital using crowdfunding, opening investment opportunities up to every American who wants to back a business he or she would like to support.

Equity crowdfunding allows private companies to offer equity to early investors in exchange for capital for a startup or small business. Crowdfunders purchase a share in the company commensurate to their investment, and reap the benefits if the business is successful and their equity rises in value. Here are some tips to help companies to raise their crowdfunding game and help investors to recognize which companies have their act together.

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Modernizing Corporate Disclosures

It’s often said that the law always lags behind technology. The gears of government and regulation naturally turn more slowly than those of human creativity and invention. Technology could be used to vastly improve the efficiency and convenience of corporate disclosures in the United States - but not before the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) determines how best to modernize its forms and requirements and figures out which innovations to incorporate.

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How Corporate Governance Can Counter Shareholder Activism

In a corporation, a government or any other community, activism is often a sign of dissatisfaction. Marginalized people protest for equal rights. Unions band together and strike for fair wages. And in a corporation, shareholders who feel underrepresented might turn to activism in hopes of forcing the company to fulfil their needs. Activist investors might have good ideas, but their approach – using an equity investment to garner undue influence – is often disruptive, undermining corporate officers and usurping more power than their investments justify.

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Uncertainty is Certain as United Kingdom Votes to Exit EU

On Thursday, June 23, the people of the United Kingdom voted 52% to 48% that their nation should withdraw from membership in the European Union (EU). While the long-term ramifications of the British exit – better known as “Brexit” – cannot yet be accurately forecast, it remains worthwhile to discuss the background of this vital moment in European politics, and what it means for business worldwide.

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Oil & Gas Bankruptcy Wave Catching Up to 2002 Telecom Bust

Nearly two years ago, crude oil cost over $100 a barrel. Since then, prices have dropped to below $27, and have stabilized at around $44 a barrel today. And while consumers enjoy lower prices at the pump, oil and gas companies have been suffering from one of the biggest bankruptcy waves in the history of the United States. Over 59 companies have filed for creditor protection as of late January 2016, closing in on the 68 bankruptcies by telecommunications firms during the telecom crisis of 2002.

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Big Deal! How 2016 is Shaping Up for M&A

When it comes to big deals, 2015 was a big year. According to Dealogic, more than $5 trillion in mergers and acquisitions took place between January 1 and December 31, making it the biggest year for M&A since before the worldwide financial crisis hit. Healthcare and technology led M&A deals in 2015 with over $723 and $713 billion respectively, and these fields have continued to dominate the deals so far in 2016.

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More of Everything: Lessons from Last Year’s Mergers and Acquisitions

It is common knowledge that mergers and acquisitions (M&A) continue to reach new highs, with global volume reaching five trillion dollars last year. Much of that activity took place in the United States. On the surface, this is a continuation of existing patterns from 2014. What was different and/or notable last year and how are those distinctions likely to affect M&A activity in 2016?

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Key Trends to Watch in Corporate Governance in 2016

Corporate governance was among the most prominent themes impacting public companies in 2015. Will the same concerns dominate the year ahead? Let’s see what can be learned from looking at the biggest overall trends:

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What Does Oil Sector Uncertainty Mean for M&A?

At the time of this writing, oil prices continue their unnerving dance: for a moment, prices seem to offer hope of a sustained increase, then drop in reaction to some external development. But how are companies and funds, flush with cash and eager to invest in mergers and acquisitions (M&A), responding to this pattern of low value?  

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M&A and Cybersecurity: 8 Important Things to Know

Cybersecurity and mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are two topics that command the attention of the finance industry. Put both issues together – the impact of data security issues on M&A transactions – however, and, all too often, finance professionals can develop a blind spot.

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Cross Border Deals and Private Equity

Private Equity (PE) investment is a massive, global economic force, influencing mergers and acquisitions (M&A) trends and market behavior in general. In the first half of 2015, overall PE investment has slowed relative to 2014’s levels. PE-backed Initial Public Offerings slowed as well. To be clear, performance for the first two quarters of the year was still high enough to outpace most quarters in the past decade. What does this small slowdown say about cross-border PE deals for the rest of 2015?

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M&A Around the Globe: Asia-Pacific Markets Picking Up Speed

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The Asia-Pacific region is, on the whole, experiencing strong growth in Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) activity, with a 38% increase in deal value over 2014. In order to provide a broad overview of the deal landscape, it is necessary to highlight the distinct factors shaping M&A trends in different countries. The following is organized by nation or region:

China M&A continues to be extremely active. Domestic deal volume is high as state-run companies slowly transition to more of a private sector model. Similarly, Chinese regulations regarding publicly traded companies and private investment are gradually loosening. Both factors are resulting in consolidation by industry as well as a wider range of M&A activity than previously seen in intra-Chinese deals. With the Chinese government poised to further loosen these regulations, analysts expect an acceleration of deal making as the year goes on.

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M&A Around the Globe: Latin America Struggles

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As mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity generally expands worldwide, nations across Latin America are finding it too difficult to join the positive trend. M&A across the region was 22% lower in Q1 of 2015 than in Q1 of 2014. What follows is a look at the reasons behind this sluggish deal environment, as well as what may result in positive change.

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M&A Around the Globe: Canada Deals Despite Uncertainty


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While Canada as a whole is struggling to achieve economic momentum its trajectory for mergers and acquisitions (M&A) remains positive. The value of individual companies – either as acquisition targets or as acquirers – is fueling major deals. Below is an overview of some of the larger trends in the Canadian M&A landscape with regulatory compliance for M&A as an outlier.

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M&A Around the Globe: U.S. Going Strong

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While almost any data point in global finance is subject to spin or debate, one fact is hard to argue: The present landscape for mergers and acquisitions (M&A) is lively and unpredictable. What follows is a series examining recent M&A developments by region, beginning with the United States.

So far in 2015, global M&A activity has been defined by high-value deals and a slight decline in the volume of transactions, relative to the pace set in the past six months. The U.S. is the clear leader, with the largest number of target companies as well as the highest value from deals. The strength of the dollar is primarily responsible and thorough M&A due diligence plays a role as well. One of the most prominent displays of the dollar’s power was FedEx’s acquisition the Dutch company TNT Express, completed in just six weeks (though regulatory approval remains.)

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M&A Around the Globe: Europe Is a Buyer’s Market

A potent combination of political and economic factors has made Europe a major focus of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity. Deal volume between European companies is the lowest it has been in years, while cross-border M&A with European targets is climbing higher and forcing additional M&A due diligence as 2015 progresses.

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