Contributed By CHSH Cerha Hempel Spiegelfeld Hlawati
In general, the timetable for M&A transactions may be subject to various drivers, which differ from case to case. The duration primarily depends on, inter alia, the target's size, complexity of the transaction structure, organisation and co-operativeness of the parties, the industry the target company operates in and regulatory aspects. Additionally, the chosen method for acquiring the target (share deal versus asset deal versus regulated takeover regime) may have an impact and affect the duration of the process, in particular the implementation/closing of the transaction.
Public takeovers, which are governed by a strict regulatory framework including prescribed steps in a prescribed timeframe, usually take a minimum of three and up to six months from the announcement of the offer to closing (hence, not including any time requirements for preparatory work). Private small- to medium-sized transactions structured as share or asset deals may typically be manageable from a minimum of three to six months onwards. In particular in the area of distressed M&A and small, simple transaction structures where no material due diligence of the target is performed, quite swift transactions, even below three months, are common. All of the foregoing assumes that no need for merger control clearance or other regulatory approval issues arise (if there are such issues, the timeframe may need to be extended substantially). For larger international M&A transactions, including a competitive tender process and usual regulatory approval requirements, time periods may extend up to approximately 12 or even 18 months from the first preparatory steps through to closing.