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Balch & Bingham Partners Share Insights on the State of Mergers & Acquisitions within the Oil & Gas Industry with Texas Lawyer

Balch & Bingham partners, Philip Dunlap and David Bowsher, shared their insights about the types of mergers and acquisition deals likely to occur within the oil & gas industry this year with Texas Lawyer

The Houston-based mergers and acquisitions team explained to Texas Lawyer that although deal volume is down in the oil & gas industry at the moment, there will be opportunities in the near future, depending on the sector of the industry, as everyone starts to reengage in the market. Further, there will likely be two principal kinds of deals getting done: big sales by large companies making a strategic exit from a region or an industry, and distressed acquisitions from vulnerable companies—either in or out of bankruptcy.

Given that many of the deals that get done in the coming months will likely involve a distressed seller, Dunlap and Bowsher advise M&A lawyers to brush up on their bankruptcy skills. Further, M&A lawyers should be prepared to think through different structures that allow buyers to retain some cash in the purchase, as buyers will have less access to debt in their capital stack. Lawyers also need to be prepared to ask different questions in the due diligence process. Understanding how a target company has handled employees during the various stay-at-home orders (have they laid off or furloughed any employees?) and whether the target company received a PPP loan are new issues that need to be discussed in due diligence and negotiation.

Philip Dunlap represents clients in mergers and acquisitions transactions across all industries. He counsels private companies, private equity funds and their portfolio companies in connection with strategic investments, joint ventures, mergers, acquisitions and divestitures, as well as on general corporate matters. Philip also serves as outside general counsel in matters including finance transactions, employee compensation, commercial contracts and employment agreements. He has represented clients in raising capital through private offerings and debt transactions, including real estate funds, private equity funds and early-stage, start-up companies. Additionally, he has been recognized as a "Texas Rising Star" by Super Lawyers® since 2014 for his work in mergers and acquisitions.

David Bowsher advises on oil and gas acquisitions and financing, mergers and acquisitions, and bankruptcy matters. His oil and gas practice centers around exploration and production companies with operations in Texas and elsewhere. The focus of his mergers and acquisitions practice is middle market deals, in which he has represented both buyers and sellers. David has deep background in all aspects of corporate restructuring, with particular experience in §363 asset sales in bankruptcy cases. Additionally, David's extensive corporate and transactional experience includes securities offerings, financing transactions and capital raising efforts.