A big debate is going on in New Orleans about what Donald Trump means for mergers

A big debate is going on in New Orleans about what Donald Trump means for mergers
A big debate is going on in New Orleans about what Donald Trump means for mergers

Others, however, are less convinced that Donald Trump's policy ideas will be a positive for deal-making. Leo Strine, the chief justice for the Supreme Court of Delaware, spoke with his usual candor,saying that protectionist U.S. policies could prompt Europeans and others outside the United States to think inwardly as well.

"You can play a game like Putin, where all the stooges on the other side let you score," he said. "I don't know that to be global capitalism."

The uncertainty surrounding the administration could cause companies to delay their deals, several panelists said. Simon noted on a panel that tax reform is a "near-term negative" for deal-making, citing several situations where boards considering selling their companies for cash may defer. For example, lower taxes could lower sellers' expenses, and thereby increase their valuations. To sell now could mean giving up future upside.

It's less of an issue for buyers, he said, when they can figure out "synergies" that make the math work.

CNBC

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