Others say that even deals in progress before the lockdown for established companies have become harder to close. Sean Collins, a managing partner at private-equity firm Goldfinch Partners LLC, had met with Ron Hynes, the chief executive of payments and fraud-detection company Vesta Corp., in Portland, Ore., at the beginning of the year to discuss a significant investment in the company.
The two had begun to nail down the finer points of the deal by February, but the process slowed to a shuffle when social-distancing and travel curbs went into effect shortly after, they said. What should have been a simple negotiation instead became a protracted exercise in lobbing versions of contracts back and forth digitally.
“In normal circumstances, we’d have gotten both sides in a room with lawyers and we’d have banged out any inconsistencies or changes in a couple of days,” Mr. Collins said. “A couple of days became weeks as we went almost exclusively to redline versions, as opposed to sitting in a room and slugging it out.”
The deal, a $125 million investment by Goldfinch for an 80% stake in Vesta, closed on May 18. The size of the investment remained the same from earlier discussions, Messrs. Collins and Hynes said.