Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Recent News
Mark D. Williamson
Mark D. Williamson, Lathrop GPM

The POWER 30: Mark D. Williamson

For Mark D. Williamson, business in the last few months have slowed down to a normal pace. But after 2021 and 2022, it almost feels slow.

COVID didn’t have the impact that many expected, he said. The negative effect didn’t last long and was very industry-specific, said Williamson, chair of Lathrop GPM’s Corporate & Business Practice Group

But one of those affected industries was restaurants, he said. A deal to buy the Parasole restaurant chain recently collapsed amicably and the parties just walked away, he said.

Williamson’s group includes about 75 people, about 35 in Minneapolis. It includes a lot of M&A, “We do a lot representing sellers, it’s fun to connect with someone who’s started a business and has a financial opportunity,” Williamson said.

The firm also has an international M&A practice. There are more and more European buyers for U.S. businesses, he said, although the increasing interest rates aren’t helping.

The firm did a deal recently where viGlobal, a company in Ontario, was sold to Aderand, in Augusta, Georgia, which produces law firm billing software. “It was kind of fun to do a deal for a product we use,” Williamson said.

There’s more government scrutiny of European buyers and there’s more antitrust scrutiny on any transactions, Williamson said. For larger deals you have to file notices under the Hart-Scott-Rodino, and that’s where the scrutiny is, Williamson said.

Deals with Chinese companies or U.S. companies in China are uncertain, Williamson said.

Williamson said that 2023 should be a good year. “I think there’s still going to be activity, not at same break-neck pace, and more due diligence, price sensitivity, and reluctance if there’s a hiccup, some delay.” He doesn’t really want to go back to 2021.

“It was impossible to get help, deals were at fast speeds, we were turning down work. It kills me we can’t spread the deals out,” he said.