Forecast 2021: From ESG to SPACs, the new deals landscape

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We look at the drivers behind the busy deals market, and the trends reshaping the M&A space—from digital to ESG to SPACs.

In our Forecast 2021 podcast series, we’re focused on preparing you for the year ahead by offering insights to help you better understand and manage some of the opportunities and challenges that your company might face—think policy, technology, and other big picture topics.

This week host Heather Horn sits down with Chris Rhodes and Andreas Ohl, PwC partners who specialize in deals. We look at the drivers behind the busy deals market, and the trends reshaping the M&A space—from digital to ESG to—you guessed it, SPACs.

Topics include:

  • 1:04 - Re-examining the buy vs. build question. Between today’s rapidly changing environment and the risk of missing a hot market, M&A has accelerated. We begin with an overview of the key trends.
    • 6:03 - Trend 1: tech-enabled agility. Digital deals are prevalent. We talk about some of the reasons and post-deal integration challenges, as well as the valuation reward of capturing scale.
    • 16:40 - Trend 2: ESG. We’re seeing a lot of opportunities in this market-driven movement. We also highlight the greater focus on due diligence and talk about the relationship to ESG reporting.
    • 24:51 - Trend 3: SPACs. While we’re only beginning to see the impact of having SPACs competing for transactions, we talk about this new class of buyer.
  • 30:16 - Looking into our crystal ball. Where is the deals market headed? We close with thoughts on adjusting to the new pace in deals while delivering on the value proposition.

Want to learn more? Check out our Deals page.

About our guests

Andreas Ohl is a partner in PwC's National Office focused on mergers and acquisitions under US GAAP and IFRS. Andreas is chairman of the Business Valuation Standards Board at the International Valuation Standards Council, is a member of the working group that authored the AICPA's in-process R&D guide, and has served as a member of the FASB's Valuation Resource Group.



Chris Rhodes is a partner in PwC's Transaction Services practice. He provides commercial structuring, valuation, and accounting advice for a variety of transactions under both US GAAP and IFRS. His focus includes strategic transactions, such as acquisitions, divestitures, and joint ventures, along with capital raising and capital restructuring.


About our host

Heather Horn is PwC's National Office thought leader, responsible for developing our communications strategy and conveying firm positions on accounting and financial reporting matters. She is the engaging host of PwC’s accounting and reporting weekly podcast and quarterly webcast series, as well as periodic webcasts for the power and utilities industry. With nearly 30 years of experience, Heather’s accounting and auditing expertise includes financial instruments and rate-regulated accounting.

All episodes in the series

Contact us

Heather Horn

Heather Horn

US Strategic Thought Leader, National Professional Services Group, PwC US

David Schmid

David Schmid

International Accounting Leader, National Professional Services Group, PwC US

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