January 17, 2022 at 2:09 pm #52644Liwei WangParticipant
It is very difficult to negotiate remotely if you cannot meet the other party in person, you cannot see their facial expression and hardly read the body language, and it always drags long. Can anyone share how did you manage these challenges during a remote negotiation?January 20, 2022 at 7:14 pm #52837Marina BarbirParticipant
Corona kind of forced us to try out and quite frankly, I like it, it allows for better preparation and more thoughtful display of words and emotions. We do try to cap the negotiation though by having pre-agreed slots of 2h max. It worked well so far.January 21, 2022 at 6:57 pm #52871Brian BrownParticipant
I agree. I think it makes DD more difficult. Having cameras on during a Zoom call helps. I think it requires multiple phone calls.January 23, 2022 at 6:07 pm #52925Dorminic KangParticipant
I do not think this is a particular challenge, companies have been doing deals without board and management from both sides ever meeting each other until late stages of the deal or even only when post-merger integration begins. This is often the case for cross-border deals where there are language barriers and timezone differences such that it is nearly impossible for parties to meet in-person. Most deals are fronted by deal advisors, investment bankers and lawyers, and are largely paper-based negotiations where instructions are taken by advisors from board and management of one company and communicated to the advisors from the other company. Of course meeting in-person would be useful for interview-based due diligence exercises – but interviews are not very popular since questionnaire-based interviews are just as effective.February 6, 2022 at 8:20 am #55784Yanxuan YangParticipant
I think it is a challenge for both parties on the negotiation table. While there is no other choice due to the covid-19 situation, perhaps some mitigations could be setting up more rigorous terms and conditions and to conduct more discussions / negotiations to make sure both parties can land on a comfortable ground.February 7, 2022 at 7:16 pm #56087Mohammed J. Al QahtaniParticipant
It was tough indeed to conduct such crucial element of the deal. As some point, traveling to and from a neighboring country that both partners were able to easy enter was the only convenient solution. It was a challenge, yet carefully considering your limited options made it possible!February 8, 2022 at 1:46 pm #56109Michel KropfParticipant
I agree that not being present and using body language can be more difficult. But this works both way and can be an advantage for both. I had some even some positive outcome of being remote. It is easier to disconnect for 30min because we disagree and set another meeting 30 min later to see if both parties have worked on the issues.February 21, 2022 at 8:30 am #56402Sultan FataniParticipant
It has been indeed a challenge to negotiation definitive agreements, remotely. Yet, a hybrid model upon which you would meet the key people along with the Sponsored Principle in a common place, twice at least, would be very helpful. The rest of the negotiations may happen remotely, via communication platforms. Not the ideal, yet the recent Pandemic made people more agile & adaptable.February 26, 2022 at 10:40 am #56561Woon Pheng OngParticipant
For experience, negotiating remotely is possible but not ideal. Wherever possible, negotiation should take place in a face-to-face setting. The challenges in negotiating remotely is that both verbal and visual communication may not be effective due to unclear voice and image.March 6, 2022 at 5:15 pm #56869Amanda BroosParticipant
The pandemic has made it difficult, but agree that some face to face would be more optimal through negotiation and into due diligence. It is very difficult to build relationships of trust and get a true sense for fit if there is no in-person interaction in these early phases. I would be concerned about the ability to successfully integrate when no relationships have been established through negotiation and DD.March 10, 2022 at 9:41 am #57249David DesmetParticipant
I think we were all expecting that this was going to be impossible, but based on conversations with many people, doing this remotely seems not to be an issue.
Certainly not for first meetings (seem to be more efficient not having to fly in, cheaper, etc.)
But once we come to the final negotiation rounds, I personally think that a physical meeting is indeed preferred to “built the trust”July 29, 2022 at 6:38 am #62572Lindsey LeClairParticipant
From a legal perspective, every deal I’ve participated in was completed remotely 95% of the time pre-COVID. I think the pandemic provided an opportunity to improve our communication and negotiation skills in a remote environment.August 6, 2022 at 10:07 am #63488Boon Hean LeeParticipant
It is definitely possible. I think the key to negotiation skills is still pretty much dependent on your strategy and pre-negotiation prep.August 8, 2022 at 11:40 am #63782A.L.Participant
It is possible but the advisors on both sides will play an important roles in recording the key issues and clarifying matters, which at times are just due to misunderstandings.August 11, 2022 at 7:35 pm #64512Hugh JonesParticipant
The need to find alternatives to build and support relationships is critical to successful negotiations. Virtual negotiations can feel very transactional.
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