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Digital Assets and ESG Are Growing Drivers of M&A Disputes, BRG’s 2023 Mid-Year M&A Disputes Report Finds

July 5, 2023

Amid global economic uncertainty, Asia-Pacific region emerges as a focus for M&A dispute activity

Growing regulation and financial market volatility are fueling mergers and acquisitions (M&A) disputes in an uncertain deal market, with global dealmakers identifying the digital assets and services sector and environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors as dispute hotspots, according to BRG’s Mid-Year M&A Disputes Report 2023, released today.

Drawing on insights from leading M&A practitioners and BRG experts, the report examines how the M&A disputes landscape has evolved this year and explores in depth the sectors and trends that emerged as priorities in BRG’s 2022 M&A Disputes Report.

The latest survey extends BRG’s multiyear M&A research initiative into two critical areas: the digital assets and services sector and ESG considerations. By exploring the impact of key trends such as the “crypto winter” and mandatory ESG disclosures in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), North America and the Asia–Pacific (APAC) region, the report offers valuable analysis on the factors driving M&A disputes globally and regionally.

Key takeaways include:

  • Deals in digital assets and services are ripe for disputes as market volatility and proposed regulations disrupt cryptocurrency activity. Artificial intelligence (AI) is also an area to watch as generative AI technologies come to market and regulators look to impose guardrails.
  • ESG commitments are also coming to the fore in disputes, driven by competing pressures from regulatory scrutiny and pushback against ESG-motivated decision-making. This has heightened the need for due diligence around ESG in M&A transactions.
  • The APAC region has emerged as a significant focus for M&A disputes this year, as deal volumes remain high and regulatory expectations around digital assets and ESG shift.

“We’re seeing innovation, market volatility and an increasingly active regulatory environment colliding in deals within the digital assets and services sector, while trends toward both regulatory scrutiny and stakeholder pushback are clashing in ESG-related M&A—creating a complex and dynamic environment for dealmakers,” said BRG Managing Director Mustafa Hadi. “The survey findings and report insights offer a deep, nuanced look at some of the key areas driving M&A disputes in 2023.”

Download a copy of the BRG Mid-Year M&A Disputes Report 2023.

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