John E. Smith, former director of the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and co-head of Morrison & Foerster LLP’s national security practice, discusses the current Iran sanctions and their impact on global business. Since the U.S. withdrew unilaterally from the Iran nuclear deal, it has become an outlier, as much of the rest of the world, including Europe, wants to continue to do business with Iran.
Another quarter, another unicorn unmasked: WeWork’s initial public offering, anticipated to rank as the second-largest in 2019, was heckled by investors and the media until its co-founder CEO was fired and the offering humiliatingly withdrawn. Among the largest third quarter offerings now trading, SmileDirectClub brought only frowns. It earned the dubious distinction as the worst mega-IPO priced above-range since at least 2008. SmileDirect’s closest IPO competitor, Peloton, failed to keep pace, as its IPO clocked in as the third worst trading debut in 10 years for companies raising at least $1 billion.
Even with the continued uptick in mega deals during 2019, the third quarter saw a significant worldwide decline in mergers and acquisitions. The volume of global M&A was down by 34% in the third quarter, with $631 billion in worldwide public and private mergers and acquisitions deals announced, as compared with $962 billion in the second quarter. The third quarter’s deal volume was the lowest for any quarter since the first quarter of 2014.