Members of the Page Up Community recently gathered for a Think Thursday discussion on the current M&A media landscape — specifically, how prevalent leaks have become for these transactions, and what communicators can do about it. The call was led by Sydney Isaacs, managing director, Head of Houston office from H/Advisors Abernathy, and was informed by their recent report, When Deals Spring a Leak.

Some of the most eye-opening stats include:

  • 70% of M&A transactions valued at $15 billion in the U.S. were leaked beforehand — compared to 33% of all M&A transactions over $1 billion.
  • In the U.S, media leaks occurred an average of 28 days prior to the formal deal announcement in 2022, compared to an average of 11 days in advance over the last three years.
  • In the U.K and Germany, the number of transactions leaked to the media grew significantly, with greater value deals being leaked earlier in the process than ever before.
  • In France, three-quarters of transactions leaked between one day and 15 days prior to them being officially revealed.

Sydney and her team laid out exactly how communications spearheads the mitigation efforts, from determining the official position of the organization, to preparing press releases, to leveraging relationships with journalists. Ultimately, the recommendations they shared reflect how important it is for communicators to act strategically; namely, have a plan in place beforehand, set your tone from the top, and be ready to adapt to the leak.

Want to learn more?

The team from H/Advisors Abernathy recently interviewed a pair of financial beat reporters from the Wall Street Journal, diving into the journalists' perspective of these increasing leaks in both the U.S and UK; you can watch their conversation here.