Now is not the time to freeze…
“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” Winston Churchill
Big strategic plays are de rigueur! The first few weeks of 2012 have seen merger announcements aplenty, significant external investment in UK law firms, the launch of ABS models that will change parts of the market forever and a renewed appetite for international expansion. These are the headline grabbers, but what about the majority of firms not in the media spotlight? Are they on the cusp of making their own announcements or simply stunned by what they see unfolding around them.
Looking more closely at the high levels of merger activity being seen across the market, the firms involved may be categorised in one of three ways.
Some see current economic conditions as an opportunity for growth and for them to be in the vanguard of industry consolidation. For them, the climate allows them to pursue their expansionist plans at pace. A further group are firms which are now contemplating merger having recognised how inhospitable their traditional world will be in five years’ time. They are choosing to make their play whilst still in a position of relative strength.
Finally, there are those in such a parlous state that they have no option but to seek a deal. Firms which have adopted the “fingers crossed and eyes closed” approach to strategy dominate this cohort.
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