The IPO market has seen a significant downturn since the SPAC-led highs of 2021. The charts and statistics below bring this downturn into sharp focus and illustrate the poor condition of the US IPO market. Read more
As the M&A regulatory environment has tightened over the last few years, we have seen a significant increase in the inclusion of antitrust termination fees in definitive M&A agreements. An antitrust termination fee is a termination fee potentially payable by the acquirer if the transaction cannot close due to lack of regulatory approval. Essentially, if the deal is blocked by a regulatory agency then the acquirer would be required to pay the antitrust termination fee to the target. Read more
SPAC deal activity fell sharply in Q1 2022. The number of priced SPAC IPOs dropped from 163 in Q4 2021 to 55 in Q1 2022. Only 34 de-SPAC M&A deals were announced in Q1 compared with 61 in Q4. At the same time the number of withdrawn SPAC deals surged in Q1. Withdrawn SPAC IPOs in Q1 (61) exceeded priced SPAC IPOs (55), and there were 17 withdrawn de-SPAC M&A deals in Q1 vs 28 completed de-SPACs. In addition, there were significant changes involving the use of Termination Fees, PIPE investments, Warrant Coverage, and Acquisition Terms/Durations on SPAC deals in Q1. Read more
In our year-end update we researched SPAC IPO and de-SPAC M&A activity through December 31st. While the number of SPAC IPOs and de-SPAC M&A deals remained relatively robust in Q4 the average size of these deals is dropping. The average size of SPAC IPOs dropped in Q4 for the 3rd consecutive quarter to $176.8 million in average gross proceeds. At the same time the large, mega de-SPAC M&A deals seen in the first 3 quarters were noticeably absent in Q4. No de-SPAC deals announced in Q4 cracked the top 25 all-time largest de-SPACs, resulting in a significant drop in the average size of de-SPAC deals from $2.73B in Q3 to $1.25B in Q4. Read more
In our 3rd Quarter Update to the initial SPAC Market Study released in April we researched SPAC IPO and de-SPAC M&A activity through September 30th. While it doesn’t look like the torrid pace of SPAC activity in Q1 will return anytime soon, activity did rebound in Q3 to 88 priced SPAC IPOs from 64 in Q2. We also saw many of the largest de-SPAC M&A deals of all time announced in Q3, including MSP Recovery ($32.5B), Polestar ($20B), and Aurora Innovation ($11B). Despite these very large deals being announced, there is still plenty of SPAC dry powder available for more acquisitions in Q4 and into 2022. As of Sept 30th there were 452 SPAC IPOs still seeking a target, representing a total of $115.1B in gross proceeds raised. Read more
In our 2nd Quarter Update to the initial SPAC Market Study released in April we researched SPAC IPO and de-SPAC M&A activity through June 30th. Although increased scrutiny from the SEC certainly decelerated the pace of SPAC deal activity from Q1 to Q2, many of the largest de-SPAC M&A deals of all time were announced in Q2, and the level of activity was still very robust in comparison to previous years. Read more
Deal Point Data researched every Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) that filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission from January 1, 2016 to March 31, 2021. We observed these deals throughout the SPAC lifecycle – from registration to IPO pricing to the announcement of a de-SPAC M&A transaction. We reviewed the relevant stock purchase agreements, asset purchase agreements or merger agreements to evaluate key negotiated M&A deal points. Read more
In our research note dated June 24, 2020 we highlighted the increased prevalence of initial public offerings by special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) as one of the most notable trends in IPOs in the last few years. What we did not discuss at that time is the explosion of SPACs filing to go public, which are at unprecedented levels. Read more
The increased prevalence of initial public offerings by special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) has been one of the most notable trends in IPOs in the last few years. SPACs are blank check companies formed for the purpose of merging with another company following the IPO. Read more
As a follow up to our recent note regarding companies increasing use of poison pills to guard against opportunist acquirers and activist investors as a result of the coronavirus pandemic (Corporate America's Medicine Against Coronavirus) here are some additional observations: Read more
Target companies in agreed fixed exchange stock swap transactions have seen the value of the acquirer's shares they are to receive as consideration in the transaction decrease, in some cases significantly, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact stock prices. Read more
Faced with myriad problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic, including significantly depressed stock prices and the ensuing threat of shareholder activism and hostile takeovers, corporate America is turning to an old standby - poison pills. Read more
Given the uncertainty and rising public health concerns around the coronavirus (COVID-19), Deal Point Data decided to take a look at how practitioners are drafting the material adverse change (MAC) definitions in recently announced transactions. Specifically, we wanted to see whether the target MAC definition included a carveout related to the coronavirus and similar concepts. The inclusion of specific carveouts protects the target in the event that the acquirer attempts to terminate the transaction based on a material adverse change. Read more
The dollar value of newly announced Merger and Acquisition deals with U.S. publicly traded target companies surged to its highest first half level since the record was set in 2015. According to Deal Point Data’s research, $508 billion dollars of M&A deals were announced during the first six months of 2019. First half activity was only 1.7% below the all-time high and 85% above the 10-year average level. On a year-over-year basis, dollar volume increased 15.1% in June, 4.6% in Q2, and 10.2% for the half year. On a sequential basis, the first half of 2019 was up 94.4% compared to the second half of 2018. In a sign that the market was not overheating, the average unaffected control premium was a moderate 29.96% during the first half, 20.4% below the ten-year average. Goldman, Sachs topped the Deal Point Data investment banking league table for announced U.S. public target deals during the first half advising on $162.3 billion in deals. Wachtell Lipton advised on $142.4 billion in announced deals to earn the number one ranking among legal advisers.
|Target||Acquirer||Equity Value ($bil)|
|Celgene Corporation||Bristol-Myers Squibb Company||71.6|
|Raytheon Company||United Technologies||52.0|
|Anadarko Petroleum||Occidental Petroleum||37.9|
|Worldpay, Inc.||Fidelity National Information Services||34.8|
|SunTrust Banks||BB&T Corporation||28.2|
Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz was the top ranked legal adviser on U.S. public M&A deals announced during the first half of 2019. Wachtell advised on 14 public deals valued at $249.4 billion. Kirkland & Ellis ranked second in the high-profile public M&A advisory market while Skadden rounded out the top three.
|Rank||Firm||Equity Value ($bil)|
|1||Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz||249.4|
|2||Kirkland & Ellis||100.8|
As of July 1, 2019, record M&A advisory fees of $2.03 billion have already been disclosed on U.S. public deals announced during the first half of 2019. Goldman led the market with $447 million in fees disclosed. JP Morgan took second place among financial advisers. Morgan Stanley rounded out the top three in disclosed fees.
The 2023 proxy season is ramping up. Here’s an early look at the numbers and emerging trends. Read more
Lawyers have been recommending U.S. reporting companies update their bylaws in response to the universal proxy card rules now in effect. Judging by the record number of bylaw changes filed in November, companies are heeding this advice. Read more
ESG-focused activists are increasingly using exempt solicitation filings to get their message out, and in recent years have increasingly shifted their focus toward environmental and social issues (E&S) while also escalating the pressure on subject companies. Read more
The debate over dual class share structures has been ongoing for over a century. Yet every few years, dual class structures come under increased scrutiny and criticism – usually triggered by a specific event, such as a high-profile company going public with the founder retaining a class of supervoting shares – then the increased attention fades away. Recent policy changes by proxy advisory firms begin to take effect this year, and it will be interesting to watch this proxy season and next to see if the escalated pressure on companies with dual class structures will have any material effect. Read more
Deal Point Data continuously monitors changes to corporate charters and bylaws and other announcements for key governance and takeover defense changes as part of our ESG research. After a unique year in which the Covid-19 pandemic upended several long term trends, 2021 largely reverted back to what we had been observing in recent years - less companies making structural takeover defense changes, lower overall governing document filings and amendments, and less poison pill activity. Read more
One year removed from the Covid-19 related stock market crash and the resulting increase in the number of companies turning to poison pills, we revisit the status of these companies and plans. Read more
Companies that delayed the holding of their 2020 annual meeting that are returning to their traditional annual meeting schedule may be impacting advance notice deadlines for proposals and director nominations. A review of advance notice provisions and a feature that can require a resetting of the submission deadlines. Read more
Deal Point Data continuously tracks changes to corporate charters and bylaws for key governance and takeover defense changes. The public health impact of the COVID-19 pandemic led to an increase in changes to governing documents in 2020 including numerous companies making the changes necessary to facilitate virtual shareholder meetings. Read more
A review of charter and bylaw filings in the six months since the Delaware Supreme Court upheld federal forum provisions ("FFP") shows that FFPs are becoming standard in the governing documents of IPO companies and among existing companies, an initial spike of adoptions that has steadily leveled off. Read more
Deal Point Data continuously tracks changes to corporate charters and bylaws for key governance and takeover defense changes. With much of the conversation surrounding corporate governance shifting away from shareholder rights to social and environmental issues, the volume of defense changes and updates to governing documents in general declined for companies of all sizes for a second year in a row. Read more
A review of Deal Point Data defense change and disclosure data for S&P 1500 companies in 2018 yields a few observations including governance best practices adopted by large cap companies continuing to trickle down to smaller companies, companies of all sizes are concerned with stockholder lawsuits, and absent traditional structural defenses, large cap companies are focusing on bylaw language, with very limited participation by stockholders. Read more
It’s hard to believe that the votes associated with what was once the most controversial item in the corporate governance landscape have become downright routine. Since January 1, 2017, 74 out of the 75 company proposals to approve a poison pill (aka a shareholder rights plan) passed and the lone proposal that was voted down comes with an asterisk because it was not a typical vote. Read more
Governance activists waged a hard-fought battle to establish proxy access at public companies and ultimately succeeded as proxy access has been widely adopted. It is therefore rather surprising that we have yet to have a proxy access nomination go to an actual vote. If it is going to happen in the 2019 proxy season, we’re likely to know soon as we’ve entered the part of the calendar where proxy access notice windows are opening. Read more
The first half of 2019 saw the début of 83 companies listing on U.S. stock exchanges through initial public offerings. The companies raised $34.3 billion a 9.4% decrease over the first six months of 2018. These statistics exclude Special Purpose Acquisition companies. Included in this cohort where 10 “Unicorns”, private companies, such as Uber, with pre-IPO valuations of at least one billion. According to Deal Point Data, this is the most Unicorn issues since IPO records began in 1980. Morgan Stanley topped the Deal Point Data U.S. IPO underwriting league table for the first half of 2019. Cooley was the number one ranked legal counsel to issuers while Davis Polk was the leading counsel to underwriters.
The dollar value of new issues of SEC registered high-yield bonds fell by 46.8% to $16.2 billion during the first six months of 2019 on a year-over-year basis. On a sequential basis, the dollar value increased by 62.6% compared to the dismal second half of 2018..