Dealmakers say a Trump presidency would be bad for M&A

Reuters News
Posted: Apr 13, 2016 7:26 PM

By Mike Stone

(Reuters) - A Donald Trump presidency would be bad for corporate dealmaking, according to a global survey of people who advise companies on mergers and acquisitions, or M&A.

Nearly two-thirds of 1,500 respondents - including investment bankers, lawyers and people who work for private equity firms - said a Trump presidency would create uncertainty that would deter executives from launching bids.

The survey was conducted in April by Intralinks Holdings Inc, which provides confidential meeting rooms used by companies when they allow would-be bidders to look through their accounts.

"The real story is that dealmakers crave less disruption, and Trump has been a polarizing figure on a global scale," Matt Porzio, vice president of strategy at Intralinks, said in a phone interview on Wednesday.

Trump is the front-runner for the Republican nomination for the Nov. 8 election. His unpredictable style and fiery rhetoric have some investors worried that as president he could trigger trade wars, hurt the economy and add a lot of volatility to financial markets.

The New York real estate developer prides himself on his ability to make good deals, and M&A professionals in the United States were less concerned about his impact on business than their peers elsewhere.

According to the survey, 46 percent of U.S. dealmakers said they believed Trump would have a negative impact on M&A activity, compared with 83 percent of dealmakers in Latin America. Trump has sparked controversy with his call for building a wall along the Mexican border and for deporting 11 million illegal immigrants from the United States.

Some 71 percent of dealmakers based in Europe and 75 percent in Asia thought Trump would be bad for business.

Globally, only 45 percent of respondents thought that U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, a self-described socialist who is competing with Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination, would be bad for M&A activity.

But the same proportion - 45 percent - thought Clinton would have a positive impact on mergers and acquisitions, making her the candidate viewed to have the highest positive impact on corporate tie-ups.

(Reporting by Mike Stone; Editing by Carmel Crimmins and Jonathan Oatis)