UK dealmakers: M&A deals take too long to close as indecisive sellers hold up mergers

Clara Guibourg
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UK dealmakers complain that M&A deals take too long to close, as fresh research shows that the average deal wastes 12 working days.

The M&A market may be booming, but most dealmakers want to be able to close twice as many deals as they do today.

Data room provider Ansarada surveyed over 500 bankers, lawyers, accountants and other merger specialists, and found that they close on average four deals per year - but hope to complete eight in 2016.

It seems sellers who can’t make up their mind make up the biggest hurdle, as 23 per cent of deals are held up by indecisive sellers, against just 14 per cent held up by indecisive buyers.

M&A hit a record high in 2015, on the backs of mega deals like AB InBev’s $117bn takeover of SABMiller, and Pfizer and Allergan’s $160bn merger.

Stephen Dearing, Ansarada’s vice president in Europe, Middle East and Africa, said:

With the significant increase in M&A deals and the time taken to execute, there has been greater focus on successful completions.

Naturally, there are elements of a deal which get in the way of closing that can frustrate all parties involved.