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M&A e Restructuring Trend

This report paints a comprehensive picture of the likely direction for corporate restructuring over the next 12 months. Much uncertainty remains — not the least over how long the COVID-19 crisis and its economic impact will persist — but survey respondents expect businesses to take decisive steps to improve their resilience and ready themselves for recovery. Defensive restructuring will come to the fore. While some businesses see opportunities to target growth through restructuring, the lion’s share of activity will reflect concerted efforts to reduce costs and focus on core assets. Divestments and withdrawals from peripheral business areas will account for a greater share of restructuring activity than M&A. And even where businesses do focus on M&A, many deals will be defensive in nature. Regional variations on this theme will arise. In particular, survey respondents see APAC companies as further ahead on the recovery trajectory. Though there is still work to be done on restructuring, businesses in this region are more likely to be on the front foot. More broadly, however, it is important to recognize that corporate restructuring may only rarely prove straightforward. Given the volatile market environment, restructuring activity could take longer than expected to complete. And while many businesses are feeling significant pressure to right-size themselves, rushing to completion may be a dangerous mistake. In this regard, businesses that take action early are likely to find themselves in a better position in the long run. Working with expert third-party advisers to identify restructuring priorities and to execute business change will pay dividends. By contrast, leaving restructuring until action must be taken from a position of weakness will only add to businesses’ vulnerabilities. How, in this light, should businesses and their advisers approach restructuring over the next 12 months? The lessons of this report are clear: Focus on developing a restructuring strategy at the earliest opportunity. Businesses with a well-defined idea of what they need to achieve will find it easier to advocate a clear roadmap for their activity.

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