Merger Monday Vanishes With Coronavirus Roiling Dealmaking

(Bloomberg) -- Two weeks after the year’s biggest Merger Monday, dealmakers confronted the worst start to the week in more than five years.

Only $2.3 billion of deals, from 94 transactions, were announced Monday, the lowest total for that day of the week in at least five years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. None of the deals topped $1 billion. The only Mondays with lower deal volume during the period were four that fell on U.S. public holidays, which Bloomberg didn’t include in this analysis.

As the Coronavirus pandemic takes its toll, companies are prioritizing liquidity over strategic opportunities as the economy and everyday life have slowed to a standstill. Corporations like American Airlines Group Inc. and AT&T Inc., which might ordinarily look in a downturn for potential acquisitions, are instead in talks with lenders for financing for operations.

“Everyone is trying to catch their breath and figure out what it means,” said Chris Abbinante, an M&A lawyer at Sidley Austin. “There’s going to be a continued slowing of announcements over the next month or so.”

Almost $222 billion of mergers, acquisitions and investments have been announced globally since beginning of the month, compared with $169 billion during the same period last year.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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