The Pandemic Didn’t Keep the Merger and Acquisition Activity Down for Long: eDiscovery Trends

Two days, two topics from Rob Robinson’s terrific Complex Discovery site. Not surprisingly, merger, acquisition, and investment (M&A+I) events were down drastically in Q2 2020 (only 3 events) as compared to Q2 2019 (13 events) when we were just entering the pandemic. But, Q3 of 2020 is a different story.

As detailed in Rob’s post eDiscovery Mergers, Acquisitions, and Investments in Q3 2020, During 3Q20 there were at least fourteen M&A+I events, a pulse rate that exceeds the pre-COVID investment pulse rate of eleven events during the same time frame in 2019.

As Rob (always) notes, “[w]hile not all-inclusive due to the fact that M&A+I events are not always publicly disclosed and some announcements may not represent event completion, the abridged listing of M&A+I events maintained by ComplexDiscovery notes key industry events by sharing event date, company involvement, and known event amounts.”  That abridged listing of 445 M&A+I events (and counting) goes all the way back to 2001!  Here are Five Key Findings from the Q3 review:

  • There have been at least fourteen publicly noted M&A+I events in the eDiscovery ecosystem during Q3 2020.
  • July and August were the most active months in Q3 2020 for M&A+I events with at least five total events in each month.
  • September was the least active month in Q3 2020 for M&A+I events with at least four known events during the month.
  • The COVID-constrained investment pulse rate for the three months of Q3 2020 is higher than the Q3 investment pulse rate in 2019.
  • The Q3 2020 investment pulse rate (14) appears to be the highest Q3 investment pulse rate since Q3 2015 (16).

So, Q3 of 2020 is not only higher than 2019, it’s the highest Q3 total in five years.  Clearly, you can’t keep investment dollars down for long.

Of course, eDiscovery Today covered two of this quarter’s transactions, with coverage of Ipro’s Acquisition of NetGovern in July and the merger between HaystackID and NightOwl Global in August.  Want to see the other transactions in Q3?  Check out Rob’s post here.

Speaking of mergers and acquisitions, here’s a reminder on two upcoming educational events on M&A related topics:

On Wednesday, October 14th, HaystackID will conduct the webcast The Dynamics of Antitrust Agency Investigations: A Second Request Update at noon ET (11am CT, 9am PT).  In this presentation, expert investigation, eDiscovery, and M&A panelists will present updates and considerations for managing Second Request responses to include tactics, techniques, and lessons learned from fourteen recent responses.


On Tuesday, October 20th, Onna will conduct the webinar Mergers & Acquisitions: How to Handle your Data at 2pm ET (1pm CT, 11am PT).  This 1:1 chat with Lisa Ripley (Director of eDiscovery & Information Governance with Oracle who has led her organization through ten plus years of mergers and acquisitions) will explore the intricacies of data merging, how to prepare for mergers and acquisitions, the stakeholders that need to be involved, and strategies to help establish consistent policies to simplify the entire process.

The M&A(&I) train is rolling!  Are you onboard?

So, what do you think?  Are mergers and acquisitions a good thing or bad thing for the eDiscovery industry?  Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by my employer, my partners or my clients. eDiscovery Today is made available solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscovery Today should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.

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