There is no doubt Covid-19 will impact some businesses more than others.  There will be groups with healthy balance sheets that are able to flex to cope with a period of reduced cash flow. Conversely there will be many businesses that will quickly be faced with liquidity issues - either due to legacy issues, or heavily indebted balance sheets built up over a decade of cheap debt, expansion and M&A - which will be less able to cope.

For this second group, to achieve rapid debt reduction and liquidity, all options need to be considered.  From an M&A perspective, this will include a review of the portfolio to determine which businesses could be sold to raise capital.

For many shareholders, selling has never been a consideration; the business is core to strategy, building a legacy, its a cash cow, trophy asset etc.  However, during and following periods of challenge and uncertainty, perceptions and priorities can change. 

Post-Covid, capital and management bandwidth will be scarce resources, strategies may have changed (for some whole business models will have to change). Not all businesses will remain core in the new word. 

So for those with a strong balance sheet that wish to hit the ground running and make up for lost time, perhaps now is the time to reassess the acquisition target list, identify those must-have buys.  In a world where timing is everything, you may just find a shareholder with a change of heart.