How to Deal with M&A Timeline Delays

September 29, 2020 • by Sarah Dyck

Just because your M&A deals are taking longer to close, doesn't mean the provisional obligations & payments for included land assets can be delayed. But with a smaller land team, how are you managing the workload?

Forbes reported that in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, merger and acquisition levels in the United States fell by more than 50% in the first quarter of 2020 when compared to 2019. For both existing M&A deals that make it to the other side of the pandemic, and new deals entered during the pandemic, timelines and closing dates are expected to be significantly extended.

If your divestment deals have been stalled, you’re on the hook to maintain land and contract obligations associated with negotiated assets for as long as the deal takes to close. This may be a real challenge when all the primary players involved in your M&A deals are now working remotely. Your company’s effective use of creative collaborative tools, technologies, and techniques is likely at a critical tipping point as your M&A teams figure out the best way forward.

Besides dealing with the impact of M&A timeline extensions, you’re facing an even greater disadvantage if you’re still managing M&A work by relying on historical land rights data that’s stored in spreadsheets; if you’re administering payments through a third-party system; and if you’re manually tracking expiries. These outdated processes have been widely criticized for being difficult to administer and for exposing your company to greater risk from potential data transcription errors.

Choose a land management software toolset that will notify you of upcoming provision obligations and drive efficient completion of your M&A work

Gain cost savings and effectively manage your M&A projects in the current market conditions by adopting data management technology tools designed to help land teams power through work more efficiently.

Pandell’s Land & GIS suite enables land teams to easily manage land assets and leases, stakeholder contracts and communication, and complex payment obligations. Expiry notifications inform stakeholders of upcoming work that needs attention so important renewals and payments don’t get missed. All your M&A documentation can be streamlined through simple document automation tools that reduce errors by eliminating multiple points of data entry. And, your land and M&A project teams can instantly view multiple projects on a map so they can identify where each one is in the process. Furthermore, you can track ongoing project costs, all from a single software platform.

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Which software platform is right for the job?

Right of Way Magazine’s article titled Data Management – Choosing the Right Program for Your Company, identifies four factors that influence the success of your land data management system, and what you should look for when comparing them. Here’s a summary of the author’s evaluation advice and what Pandell brings to the table:


Does it provide real time data and integration with other systems?

The Pandell LandWorks & GIS suite’s integration toolset exchanges real time data with accounting, document management and facilities management databases. Customers can schedule imports and exports at their discretion; and utilize the industry’s best seamless two-way linking between land and GIS software.


Can it support customization and varying requirements over time?

We evolve our products and services to meet our customers’ changing needs. Our software products are never ‘finished’. We are constantly finding ways to add additional business value by engaging with our client community and responding to industry challenges.


Will the company be there to provide ongoing support?

After 23 years of providing exceptional client focused business service, we continue to provide the best support in the industry. Our customers get flexible user training; 24/7 help desk resources; free software version upgrades; and efficient database migration services. And through regular advisory meetings with clients, we are able to drive continuous development to improve the user experience.


Does the cost-benefit analysis make sense for you?

With Pandell’s Software as a Service (SaaS) model our customers have greater flexibility in controlling monthly costs because our fees already include licenses, upgrades, and support. Because Pandell handles hosting, there is a low start-up cost, and no need for expensive server hardware or additional software to meet system requirements.

The impact we’re all seeing on M&A deals in the current environment will likely continue to influence the energy industry for some time. But if you can respond to changed circumstances by resolving problematic manual processes, you’ll minimize your exposure to risk, save time and money, and better position yourself for the eventual turn-around of the market.

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