Business of Law

Stock Market Plunge Is Bad News for M&A Lawyers, Since Deals Are Likely to Slow Down

Updated: Following yesterday’s 634-point plunge in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, not to mention the stock market’s 15-percent drop in value in less than three weeks and predictions of further losses today, it isn’t just investors who are worried about the economy.

Although clients may need extra counseling from corporate lawyers, those whose practice focuses on mergers and acquisitions may be looking at a forthcoming drought of work, reports the Recorder.

Deals that are already in the pipeline likely will go forward. But, faced with the difficultly of valuing company stock in a volatile market, many companies will simply wait out the current downturn before focusing on initial public offerings, the article predicts.

“We saw this movie before when the tech bubble burst,” said Horace Nash, who chairs the securities practice group at Fenwick & West. “All of a sudden nobody knew what a tech company was worth. All the IPOs were on hold for a couple of years because investors didn’t know how to value anything. And in 2008 and 2009, nobody knew what anything was worth.”

Stock futures suggesting the likely direction of the United States market today were down earlier but now are up, reports the Associated Press.

Related coverage:

Associated Press: “U.S. market swept up in global avalanche”

Daily Mail: “Asian markets tumble for a SECOND day after Dow goes into freefall sparking panic on Wall Street”

New York Times (sub. req.): “Tumult in Global Markets Continues”

Reuters: “Futures signal another slide on Wall Street”

Updated at 7:22 a.m. to include new Associated Press coverage on today’s market.

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