M&A in the News

Expert insight and analysis on recent deals in the news.

There was an excellent profile in last weekend’s Wall Street Journal of Cisco Systems and its CEO, John Chambers. Cisco is a company that “gets it”.  In some of the most difficult economic conditions of our lifetime, Cisco is not hiding its head in the sand.  Here is Chambers’ philosophy: Even in this downturn, we […]

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It seems that in the world of private equity, middle-market funds are enjoying the greatest success in this bleak deal-making landscape.  The main reason given: …small and middle-market firms are getting the attention of the PE shops because they can be had without piling on gobs of debt Right now, they are also considered a […]

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A recent study confirms what we’ve been saying for months: companies that are bold in these troubled economic times will reap the benefits of their actions.  As the study’s authors state: “Companies with M&A in mind should be emboldened by our analysis: fortune favors the brave. Fears that M&A is riskier post-Lehman seem to be […]

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Back in December, I noted (and agreed with) one author’s proclamation that in the current economy, the balance of power in M&A has shifted from sellers to buyers.  The main reason:  With the credit market in a crunch, cash is king, and cash-rich companies hold a distinct advantage. As these survey results show, this trend […]

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I recently appeared on Jacobson & Katz: Inside Maine Business to discuss the current state of the mergers and acquisitions market, as well as the Capstone approach to the M&A process. You can view Part One here: And Part Two, here: To see other episodes of Jacobson & Katz: Inside Maine Business, visit www.insidemainebusiness.tv

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Recent news indicates that the federal government will “prop up” the major banks if they continue to falter.  This has some worried that these large financial institutions will be “nationalized”.  The government says that this is not the case: The strong presumption of the Capital Assistance Program is that the banks should remain in private […]

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I recently read an article through DealBook indicating that the Obama administration will increase antitrust enforcement during its tenure, raising the anxieties of many on Wall Street. In the big picture, I don’t think this increased oversight will have much impact on middle-market deals – after all, it’s usually only the really big deals that […]

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Why do stock market investors sell when prices collapse and buy when prices soar? Why do real estate owners display the same irrational behavior? The math is hardly difficult. It’s better to buy when valuations are low and sell when they are high. Yet human nature seems to require that we run with the market […]

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In my last post I commented on the opportunity that has risen in the mid-market with the concentration of investment banking focus on major deals. There’s a chance for third-party advisors like Capstone to do more than fill the vacuum recent events have created. However, it’s important to understand what the gap really is — […]

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If you’re thinking of buying another company, the scale of your projected acquisition is an important question you need to settle early on. Your objective is growth, and it would be easy to deduce from this that the bigger your purchase, the better. Not so. You’ve heard the familiar question, “How do you eat an […]

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I was struck by Matthew Karnitschnig’s excellent article in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal. His opening line was perhaps an overstatement — “M&A is almost dead”. But the gist of his piece is right on the money. Mr Karnitschnig’s theme is the one I have been pounding in this blog for the past few weeks. In the world of […]

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If  you are contemplating growth through acquisition, let me offer one rather obvious piece of advice. Know why you are buying. At Capstone, we impose a strict and simple rule. Have ONE reason, and one reason only. A single reason, a single strategy, a single company: that is the discipline of success. Trying to fulfill multiple […]

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  If you want to read a decent book on M&A, be prepared to spend $70 or $80, and set aside several days to plough through a heavy-duty tome for business students. There are exceptions, but for the average business reader there’s remarkably little to guide you through our world of deals.   So I’m […]

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I was asked the other day what can be learned from the possible merger of GM and Chrysler. Specifically, what might this union of giants teach the M&A market lower down the food chain? As I’ve said elsewhere, this is a time when corporate mergers can appeal to those struggling with a hostile economic climate. […]

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When it comes to funding acquisitions, banks are still holding tight to their money — unless you count the special case of banks buying other banks, which is causing quite a stir in the wake of the government bailout. The fact is, this is still a tough time for M&A, especially in what I have […]

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In the current crisis, people are rightly concerned about a declining dollar and its impact on all aspects of business, including Mergers and Acquisitions. Outbound, the weaker dollar is making it more difficult for US companies to make acquisitions abroad, because they’re now more expensive. On the inbound side the impact has been positive. We’ve […]

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It’s been a dramatic time for investment banking, and many people are anxious. We probably haven’t seen the bottom yet, but there’s no cause for panic. In fact, good things may come from this latest turmoil. Take Lehman, the smallest of the four majors. They had tremendous exposure to real estate and their balance sheet […]

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There’s some confusion around about the direction of the M&A market, and it comes from seeing the market as an undifferentiated whole. For example, a recent article in the New York Sun predicts a comeback in M&A activity after a year in the doldrums.  The article is generally correct and I do see a strong […]

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If you look at the divide in the M&A market, the growth you will see is in strategic acquisitions — either very large or very small. Where we can expect the least amount of activity is what I call the wedge: $1B to $10B transactions. This market sector is inherently ripe for private equity. It […]

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