Previously, transaction insurance (or R&W insurance) was used sparingly and predominantly by East Coast private equity funds. PE funds have historically found R&W insurance to be attractive on the buy-side to enable them to make more competitive buyout bids for private targets by foregoing large escrows and significant post-closing indemnifications from targets. At the same time, when the PE fund is on the sell-side, it will insist that the buyer purchase R&W insurance to protect the fund’s risk exposure to breaches of representations and warranties by its portfolio company in the sale. Outside of the US, R&W insurance has already become widely used in private M&A deals in Europe by both PE funds and strategic buyers alike.
As the underwriting process has streamlined, and premiums have come down in the US, R&W insurance has secured a significant position in the M&A toolbox for middle-market M&A nationwide (outside of the PE context). Most financial buyers and now many strategic buyers increasingly use these policies as a means to manage risk and to help facilitate a deal.