Guggenheim chair says M&A's becoming harder to get across the line

Guggenheim Partners Chairman Alan Schwartz, who’s been building the firm’s focus on investment banking, said intensifying regulatory scrutiny is contributing to a slowdown in dealmaking.

“While a lot of activity is being discussed, it’s a little harder to get transactions across the finish line,” Schwartz, 66, said in an interview last week at Guggenheim’s New York headquarters.

Bloomberg News reports that Schwartz advised Pfizer on its $160bn plan to combine with Allergan. The deal, which would have been the largest health-care merger in history, fell apart after the U.S. Treasury Department cracked down on inversion transactions that move a company’s tax address abroad. Halliburton and Baker Hughes said Sunday that they were calling off a $28bn merger after the U.S. Justice Department raised concern the combination would stifle competition in the oil-exploration industry.

Wall Street veterans Paul Taubman and Ken Moelis have also said that political and regulatory uncertainty could make it harder to get deals done. Moelis, chairman of the investment bank that bears his name, cited antitrust concerns, while Taubman, head of PJT Partners, has said some companies may be waiting for a new administration in Washington.

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Guggenheim’s Schwartz Says M&A Harder to Cross Finish Line

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