Market Overview

General Data Protection Regulation to Have Limited Impact on M&A Activity


-- Merrill Corporation study reveals dealmakers' sentiments --

Dealmakers believe that the new General Data Protection Regulation
(GDPR) will likely only have a modest impact on M&A activity in the EU,
according to a recent survey conducted by Merrill Corporation, a leading
provider of virtual data rooms and services for regulatory disclosure.
This survey was conducted as part of the company's ongoing webinar
series on various M&A topics, and included industry experts plus nearly
500 dealmakers.

GDPR, the EU's most significant overhaul in its privacy guidelines in
more than two decades, will go into effect on May 25, 2018. The European
Commission's aim is to give citizens more control over their personal
data by applying stringent standards in areas such as data consent and
notification of breaches. The survey suggests dealmakers are not daunted
by the risk of serve penalties for non-compliance. Potential fines for
businesses may reach 4 percent of annual revenue, or 20 million euros,
whichever is higher.

Key findings among the participants include:

  • A strong majority of respondents (80 percent) are highly to moderately
    confident in the ability of their organisation, and its vendors, to be
    fully compliant with GDPR.
  • Nearly half of the survey respondents (46 percent) believe that GDPR
    will have very little impact on deal making, while 42 percent
    indicated it would have moderate influence as a business priority.
  • Over half of the survey respondents (56 percent) do not believe that
    the EU will become less attractive for M&A activity because of GDPR;
    26 percent of respondents indicated that, at this juncture, it is too
    soon to gauge what impact it may have on deal making.

"The survey results reflect a general view among dealmakers in Europe
that GDPR, beyond its likely negligible impact on near-term M&A
activity, will be an opportunity for businesses to closely monitor how
data is being acquired, stored and shared," said Hilary London,
Merrill's General Manager, EMEA. "Updated data protection laws also
present new challenges for dealmakers, most notably the threat of heavy
fines for non-compliance. For the most part, however, it is business as
usual, with much of the framework to support compliance already in place
for most organizations."

For a replay of the Merrill webinar, go to

About Merrill Corporation

Merrill Corporation provides a range of services that helps make the M&A
deal process faster and more effective. Its industry-leading virtual
data room, Merrill DataSite, ensures the right information is shared
with the right people, leading to successful mergers and
acquisitions. Merrill helps create and file initial public offering
documents, as well as periodic financial disclosures required by global
regulatory bodies. For more information, go to

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