Thursday, January 26, 2012
Practical Law Company held a nicely done webinar today reviewing the major Public M&A trends in 2011. As most M&A experts know, deal activity was down the second half of 2011. Nevertheless, experts appear hopeful that there will be some deal growth in 2012. Cleary Gottlieb's recently released advisory for board members spends a lot of time focusing on M&A risks and opportunities. It predicts that "There is reason to expect growth in deal activity in 2012, despite current market and economic challenges. Prospective acquirers have substantial cash resources and reasonable or even strong stock prices, banks are willing to lend for at least some acquisitions, private equity firms have significant unused investor commitments, and hedge funds are actively seeking positive results." Cleary's memo is definitely worth a read and a useful overview of risks that board members may face in the M&A realm. Other sources have also predicted an uptick in deal activity in 2012, see here and here. We will wait and see...