Analysis



 

The ongoing crisis in Ukraine is likely to hurt global M&A activity, according to a financial services lawyer.

The crisis has already had an impact on global markets as investors grow concerned about the stability of Russian assets. 

The situation has sent the Russian markets tumbling, Norton Rose Fulbright partner Troy Ungerman said.

In the short term, economic sanctions may prevent any significant transactions involving Russian companies, and in the long term this instability may impact investor confidence in the region for years to come,” Mr Ungerman said.

“The ongoing crisis is likely to have a negative impact on global M&A activity,” he said. 

Russia represented 17.2 per cent of global M&A value last year, according to Mergermarket’s 2013 Trend Report.

In the short term, the threat of economic sanctions may deter deals, Mr Underman said. 

“It remains unclear whether western nations will impose economic sanctions, and if they do, what those sanctions will be,” he said.

“However, any sanction is likely to have an impact on M&A prospects.”

On 3 March The New York Times reported that the United States may impose sanctions on high-level Russian officials involved in the military occupation of Crimea.

“In response to the threat of sanctions from the US, Russian lawmakers are considering legislation that would allow the state to confiscate assets belonging to US and European companies, as reported by CNN on 6 March.  

“Needless to say, this is not encouraging for prospective foreign purchasers,” Mr Ungerman said. 

“In the long term, the greater impacts will be as a result of a loss of investor confidence in the stability of Russian assets,” he said.

“This will slow the purchase of Russian companies by foreign buyers, and make it more difficult for Russian companies to acquire the foreign capital necessary for their own purchases. 

“We saw similar effects in the wake of the Georgian crisis in 2008, which was a comparatively minor confrontation.”

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