Hospital mergers have been an increasing trend in the healthcare markets over the past decade, with many proponents of these mergers believing that the overall consolidation of hospital services provides better outcomes for patients at large, and opponents arguing that these mergers only result in increased costs to patients. Over the last couple of years, there has been a slight decrease in the number of hospital mergers, in part due to the whirlwind of changes in society and the economy (i.e., the public health epidemic, increased interest rates and an unstable M&A market), but in large part as a result of drastic changes to the way we receive healthcare services (telehealth and telemedicine, outpatient treatment centers, ambulatory surgery centers, etc.). Although the number of hospital mergers has decreased, the deal size of these transactions has increased exponentially. So what can we expect to see in the future regarding hospital consolidations and what would increased hospital consolidation mean for patients?Continue Reading Hospital Mergers: The Value and Pitfalls

On September 27, 2023, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) announced charges against six officers, directors, and major shareholders of public companies (“insiders”) for failing to timely report and file disclosures related to (i) their holdings in public company stock and (ii) transactions they undertook involving public company stock. Five public companies were also charged in connection with timely reporting failures by their insiders. Without admitting or denying the charges, the six insiders and five public companies agreed to cease and desist from violating the charged provisions and agreed to pay civil penalties ranging from $66,000 to $200,000.Continue Reading SEC Announces Charges Against Insiders for Reporting Failures and Adopts Amendments to Schedule 13D and 13G Report Filing Timelines

On October 4, 2023, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced the advent of a new safe harbor for companies that discover wrongdoing by the acquired business in the course of an M&A transaction. Buyers hoping to take advantage of this avenue for leniency would be well-advised to conduct thorough diligence and act quickly to report any wrongdoing they uncover, as the potential upsides for those who do so may be considerable in light of the DOJ’s new policy.Continue Reading DOJ Announces Mergers & Acquisitions Safe Harbor Policy

On June 27, 2023, the FTC and DOJ (together the “Agencies”) announced a notice of proposed rulemaking (“NPRM”) proposing extensive revisions to both the rules that implement the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act (the “Act” or “HSR Act”) and the Premerger Notification and Report Form (the “Form”) that merging parties must submit under the Act. Our previous analysis of the NPRM is covered here.Continue Reading Mergers & Acquisitions Update: A Closer Look at the Impact of the FTC and DOJ’s Proposed HSR Act Filing Reform on Private Equity Firms

Mergers and acquisitions activity is significantly influenced by economic conditions. Factors such as gross domestic product growth, interest rates and market volatility create an undeniable influence on deal volume. When economic circumstances are favorable, it can seem easy to close transactions. Conversely, when the economy faces headwinds, buyers are more cautious and often kick more tires before initiating closing wires.Continue Reading Pillars of Due Diligence

If you had invested in a North American sports franchise between 1991- 2022, you would have earned at least a seven-fold return on your investment, bettering the return from the S&P 500 over that period of time by a two-to-one ratio. According to Sportico, in the past year alone, the average value of an NFL franchise has increased by 24 percent. The strong growth in the value of these franchises has proven to be particularly attractive to investors, especially in recent years. For example, the sale of the Denver Broncos in 2022 was for a 22% premium over a third party’s pre-sale valuation. Valuation premiums are not only limited to sales of controlling investments; in 2023, a minority share of the parent company of the Toronto Raptors, Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto FC was sold for a similar premium over a recent third-party valuation for the franchises. Not surprisingly, franchise owners have been eager to cash in either in whole or in part.Continue Reading How High Can It Go? What Private Equity Needs to Know about How Professional Sports Leagues’ Rules Impact Sports Franchise Valuations

On September 21, 2023, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sued Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe (WCAS) and U.S. Anesthesia Partners, Inc. (USAP), in the Southern District of Texas, alleging the two companies “[e]xecuted a multi-year anticompetitive scheme to consolidate anesthesiology practices in Texas, drive up the price of anesthesia services provided to Texas patients, and boost their own profits.”Continue Reading FTC Sues Private Equity Firm and Anesthesiology Practice for Antitrust Violations

The use of artificial intelligence (AI) is booming. Investors and companies are pouring cash into the space, and particularly into generative AI (GAI), to seize their share of the market which McKinsey reports could add up to $4.4 trillion annually to the global economy. Some companies are investing tens or hundreds of millions of dollars or more into GAI. Whether companies are building their own AI technology and training their own AI models, or leveraging third party tools, there are significant legal issues and business risks that directors need to consider as part of their fiduciary obligations and corporate governance. Five of the top issues to understand and consider are addressed in this article. Many other issues can arise. A wave of litigations and enforcement actions has swelled. Boards should get educated on these issues and ensure appropriate policies and corporate governance are implemented to manage the business and legal risks.Continue Reading 5 Things Corporate Boards Need to Know About Generative AI Risk Management

Acquisition agreements in M&A transactions frequently include provision for payment to be made at closing based on estimates of certain financial metrics that are later subject to a purchase price adjustment based on a final determination (referred to as a “true-up”) within a few months following closing. These metrics may include a target’s cash, debt, unpaid transaction expenses and working capital (excluding cash), and sometimes others. The definitions that correspond to these items, and what particular items are included or excluded from each, are often the product of significant negotiation, as the final purchase price can move materially up or down based on their final determination. The process of finally determining the adjustment amount following the closing can also reveal differences in the buyer’s and seller’s interpretation of accounting principles applicable to the purchase price adjustment calculation, or how those principles apply to the target’s financial statements. These differences can become a source of post-closing conflict between buyer and seller, at a time when the parties are working through transitional issues, and when the sellers may have ongoing involvement in the business. Parties will want to resolve these disputes quickly and in a cost-effective manner. To accomplish these objectives, often the purchase agreement will require that the parties submit unresolved issues to an independent accountant for final resolution. A key consideration in such referral will be the role that the accountant will play in resolving the dispute. Will the accountant act as an arbitrator or as an expert? This is an important distinction that deserves careful consideration by both sides. By engaging an accountant to act as an expert and not an arbitrator, the parties limit the scope of the accountant’s review and avoid the formalities of an arbitration.Continue Reading Expert or Arbitrator? Resolving Purchase Price Adjustment Disputes

On August 9, 2023, President Biden issued an Executive Order (E.O.) ordering the issuance of outbound investment restrictions. This E.O. comes after nearly a year of anticipation (as we have documented on several occasions over the past year). This is the start of the reverse Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) process that has been mostly speculation (and blog articles) until yesterday. In conjunction, the Treasury Department issued a press release, fact sheet, and Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) seeking comments from the public on the proposed restrictions by September 28.Continue Reading New Outbound Investment Restrictions Affect China, Semiconductors, Artificial Intelligence, and Quantum Computing