As the financial markets continue to deal with the global pandemic, and volatile valuations across both public and private markets, many companies have been forced to look inward and explore options to stabilize their businesses. The combination of reduced share prices, record-low (UK – delete) interest rates and private equity sponsors with an abundance of dry powder to deploy has shifted the investment landscape from a pre-Covid seller’s market to a buyer’s market. This shift has resulted in an uptick in public-to-private activity. On the other end of the spectrum, companies are exploring SPAC transactions which are being launched by private equity sponsors. SPACS, which are designed to take companies public without going through the traditional IPO process, and allowing retail investors to invest inhigh growth companies earlier in their growth life cycle while providing private equity and venture firms an alternative exit strategy. This panel will examine what is driving these trends, what the pros and cons, risks, and due diligence practices companies and sponsors should keep in mind when considering these transactions.
When it comes to environmental, social and governance issues, what is the right mission and purpose for a corporation in 2021? Should companies be held responsible not only for their financial performance, but their successes or failures on environmental and social issues as well? How can positive change be achieved and measured at the governance level? How can companies institute ESG initiatives with a purpose, and not just perception? Moderator: Kyle Fox, Partner, KRF Capital Panelist: Elisa Davis, Associate General Counsel and Assistant Secretary, Adtalem Global Education Panelist: Patricia Lizarraga, Managing Partner, Hypatia Capital Panelist: James Rogers, Chief Legal Officer, Cars.com Panelist: Eric Sibbern, Senior Partner and Managing Director, Veraison Capital AG Panelist: Julia Thompson, Partner, Latham & Watkins LLP