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Biopharma Partnering: M&A in the New Virtual Reality

​As we approach the end of Q1, the world looks to continue taking strides away from what can only be described as a year of uncertainty...

Looking Back…

Here at Mantell Associates, we have seen our clients hiring patterns nearing pre-COVID levels which bodes well for the future ahead. 

The global pandemic has shown us there is time and money to be saved when partnering virtually. Networking in the zoom era has realised incredible efficiency gains, compared to previous transactional flights across international borders. 

The beginning of 2021 saw tentative movements from those within industry, with the lowest recorded figures of M&A announcements since 2016, the fear factor was still rife. This being said, a recent EY survey indicated that well over half (58%) of all Life Science Executives plan to actively pursue M&A in the next 12 months, so the new instantaneous avenues of working have provided a new platform for growth. 

Consistent with past financial and economic crises, uncertainty in the business and capital markets have contributed to buyers delaying or cutting back on acquisition plans. However, this time there’s a difference. The impact of the pandemic is not just on the financial system, it’s also the appetite of buyers to get deals done in the short term alongside the confidence of sellers and the adaptation of new working practices have all had an impact on M&A. 

However, one point of difference from past crises is the huge change in the manner in which M&A transactions are developed, negotiated and executed. With all of the principal players working remotely, the effective use of new interactive and creative collaborative tools, technologies and techniques have become more critical as buyers, sellers, providers of M&A financing, and all of their respective legal and financial advisors adjust to the changing environments. 

Notably, “conference weeks” have become flexible, forgiving and receptive. With participants able to unwind and the redistribution of crammed schedules has created a positive environment is which all involved are able to work together in harmony. 

Looking Forward… 

What some may call our new “virtual reality” will remain at the centre of our lives in 2021. Virtual adaption to all working practices has been prevalent within all industries, for example interviews are now taking place over zoom or phone calls, global organisations are networking through teams’ conferences, work from home has also been widely accepted as an efficient tool towards success. 

Many executives agree that this “working from everywhere” environment has encouraged creativity and innovative thinking, with less mandatory travelling allowing for increased productivity of everyone involved. Here at Mantell Associates it has widened our scope to a truly global scale as the geographical barriers for someone’s ability to perform efficiently. 

Moving Forward… 

“Some people don’t like change, but you need to embrace change if the alternative is disaster.”– Elon Musk.

More than ever, flexibility, planning and good advice will remain key to a successful transaction. However, as we enter into a post COVID environment, those early movers who are able to improvise and utilise the new dimensions to all commercial operations will see success. We encourage all those within the Mantell Associates network to embrace the changes and new networking dynamics as they will no doubt become an invaluable tool moving forward. Whether it’s a telephone interview, a podcast, a conference call or simply a zoom quiz with friends, notice the changes and trust the process. 

Mantell Associates is a specialist Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences Recruitment organisation founded by CEO Alessandro Mantell in January 2019. If you would like to find out more about how we support finding you the right talent or the right opportunity, reach out to Jack Dean on jack.dean@mantellassociates.com or give us a call on +44 (0)20 3778 0990.