July 20th, 2020


The impact of COVID-19 on Private Equity and how it could change M&A Transactions

By: Newsroom

Given the uncertainty generated by COVID-19, the global M&A market is experiencing turbulence the likes of which has arguably never been seen before. Whilst we are seeing the country and the economy slowly start to re-emerge from the crisis, the impact of the pandemic on businesses and jobs remains profound. This poses the question, what will be the impact of this crisis on private equity and M&A transactions.

The purpose of the roundtable is to discuss two broad questions:

  1. What impact has the crisis already had on M&A?
  2. How will this crisis change the way deals are conducted going forward?


  1. What impact has the crisis already had on private equity and M&A and what is the near to mid term outlook?
  2. Has the crisis impacted how deals are conducted and deal structures i.e. minority/co-investments?
  3. What should we expect in terms of the impact of the crisis on valuations, purchase price adjustments, deferred considerations /earn-outs?
  4. Are we already seeing a spike in special situation / distressed M&A and how insurance can assist
  5. What has the impact of the crisis on share purchase agreements and in particular MAC/MAE and walk away rights?
  6. How will this crisis impact the approach taken towards to due diligence?
  7. How will the crisis impact insurance capacity and W&I insurance in particular?


Tan Pawar
Managing Director, Head of Private Equity and Mergers & Acquisitions at BMS Group

Tan has been involved in the M&A insurance industry for almost a decade and has been instrumental in its evolution. Prior to joining BMS, Tan spent 6 years at a Lloyds of London broker where he co-founded the M&A team. Before that he was a Divisional Director in the Transactions Services team at Willis. Tan has particular expertise in cross-border M&A transactions involving US sponsors. Prior to joining the M&A insurance industry, Tan was a solicitor in private practice focusing on corporate and M&A matters.

Sophie O’Connor
Partner, Private Equity and Mergers & Acquisitions at Norton Rose Fulbright LLP

Sophie O'Connor is a corporate lawyer based in London. Sophie is an experienced private equity practitioner and advises sponsors, portfolio companies and management teams on the range of mainstream private equity transactions. Sophie also advises other investors seeking to deploy private capital including investment banks, asset managers and major corporates through corporate venturing and start-up programmes. In addition Sophie applies her extensive deal experience to advise on warranty and indemnity insurance policies; typically, in relation to large scale multi-jurisdictional transactions and transactions with a private equity element.

Jonathan Read
Director, Head of Mid-Market Private Equity Coverage at KPMG

Jonathan leads KPMG’s sponsor coverage for the mid-market across Deal Advisory. This role encompasses deal origination on businesses of Enterprise Value up to £300 million, as well as providing market and deal insight to both PE and family offices, across all sectors. Prior to this, Jonathan has over ten years of experience in Private Equity origination, buy-side and sell-side financial due diligence, IPOs, SPA advisory and locked box advice. Jonathan worked on a number of large and complex global transactions across a range of sectors including healthcare, professional services, retail, oil and gas, TMT, education and manufacturing on deal values ranging from £10 million to £2 billion.

George Pearce
Senior Underwriter, RSG Transactional Risks Europe (TRE)

George joined RSG TRE in March 2016 and is a Senior Underwriter. Since joining RSG TRE, George has underwritten a significant number of UK-centric and complex cross-border transactions. He has developed a highly commercial, collaborative and responsive reputation amongst brokers and clients. Prior to joining RSG TRE, George spent 5 years working at Norton Rose Fulbright, working in the corporate department. He focussed on private M&A, Equity Capital Market transactions and general corporate advisory work. He also spent time on secondment at Fenchurch Advisory Partners and F&C Investment Management.