Annual Leaks Report


H/Advisors Abernathy releases 2022 leaks report

H/Advisors Abernathy’s third annual leaks report takes an in-depth look at North American M&A, compiled from our proprietary database of information analyzing more than 500 announced M&A transactions. In our 2022 report, our M&A communications team assesses the state of leaks in a slowing M&A market, how accurate leaks are when they occur, the specificity of the information reporters obtain through a leak, and what dealmakers can expect on social media when a deal leaks.

So, what’s new this year?

  • In a slower M&A market, leaks are still prevalent as nearly one-third of transactions leaked prior to an official announcement: 30% of deals leaked in advance of an announcement and 70% of deals valued at $15 billion and greater leaked.
  • M&A leaks to media are happening earlier in the M&A process: Media leaks occurred an average of 28 days prior to the formal deal announcement in 2022, compared to an average of 11 days in advance over the last three years.
  • Leaks are very accurate: 75% of leaks correctly named both merger parties and 60% reported the transaction value within a 10% margin.
  • Some sectors are leakier than others: Nearly 1/2 of transactions involving technology companies leaked and 3/4 of transactions in the financial services sector leaked.
  • Leaks spark a significant and immediate increase in online activity: In the first 24 hours after a leak, named companies experienced an average of 372% more comments on social media than their pre-leak daily average. Online searches for bidder and target companies mentioned in a media leak more than doubled in the 30 days following a leak.

Our report also includes recommendations about how corporate leaders and dealmakers can prepare in advance of a potential transaction leak to mitigate any impact, key principles for rapid response in the event of a leak, and priority digital considerations to best protect an organization’s reputation online.

Click the button below to download our full report.


Contact the author

Dan Scorpio, Managing Director
Head of M&A and Activism

H/Advisors Abernathy, Chicago/New York