Yup, M&A leaks are intentionalNovember 15, 2013: 11:47 AM ET
A new study suggests that it's no accident when deal news is leaked.
The researchers basically mapped out when leaks occur during deals for publicly-traded companies, and found that they rarely were right after a virtual data room was opened. In other words, these aren't accidental disclosures caused by incorrectly-typed emails or someone who didn't realize the process was confidential.
Instead, the leaks almost always came much later in the process -- when one side has something to gain:
This view is supported by nearly all respondents in our latest interviews, with the consensus being that intentional leaking happens much more often than accidental leaking. This assertion is summarized by a partner at a UK law firm, who states that "Leaks are intentional most of the time – now we have brilliant technology in place which ensures accidental leaks are prevented almost completely." This view is further supported by a partner at a UK accountancy firm, who comments: "Now the information exchange happens in a secured manner which is unlikely to be breached unless intentionally done."
The report studied 142 transactions, and in no cases did a leak occur before a virtual data room was opened.
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