M&A in the News

Expert insight and analysis on recent deals in the news.

Although it almost dipped back below today, the Dow broke the 11,000 mark earlier this week.  This psychological barrier will impact the M&A market since there is a strong correlation between the equities market and M&A, with M&A lagging a bit. I continue to expect an increase in deal making, with the biggest growth to […]

Read More

Cerberus Capital Management agreed to acquire DynCorp for $1 Billion on April 12.  DynCorp is a Virginia-based defense contractor who focuses on low-technology, high people-centric government contracts in hostile areas like Afghanistan.  Cerberus, probably best known for its acquisition of Chrysler, sees this as a way to expand its government business. There were four things […]

Read More

PWC reported recently that 46% of CEO’s in their survey indicate they plan to sell their company, and of these 66% said they plan to sell within the next five years.  The primary reason cited in the report is to diversify and create liquidity. My experience with CEO’s of privately held firms is they typically […]

Read More

According to CFOs recently polled by Merrill Datasite, “87.1% of respondent are considering M&A activity as a means to grow.”   We at Capstone agree – the time is right to make a BOLD move – growing proactively through external growth.  Our clients are using acquisitions and investments to create a competitive advantage by adding capability […]

Read More

I just spoke at the Wisconsin Institute of Certified Public Accountants Spring Conference and the general sentiment was cautious optimism for the next 12 months.  Several attendees mentioned they only see distressed companies selling and at 0.5x revenues.  Another mentioned his firm has lots of cash and no debt but they are hesitant to part […]

Read More

“There are a lot of companies that are flushed with cash, they want to do deals and targets that feel that they are 20 percent below their historic highs so they are not as interested in doing a deal,” he explained. “So that’s the right territory for a lot of unsolicited bids.” I agree with […]

Read More

Banks are still not lending much these days and last year  had their sharpest decline in lending in 67 years.  A friend who is a Vice President at a major US bank recently told me: “We have lots of money to lend, just no one that we want to lend it to.”   So how […]

Read More

On this blog previously, David discussed some of the issues surrounding the AOL-Time Warner merger.  Given that the ten year anniversary of the merger was recently marked, I wanted to re-visit the ill-fated deal to explore it a little more in-depth. AOL and Time Warner merged to create the “world’s first Internet-age media and communications […]

Read More

The New York Stock Exchange ended 2009 up nearly 30% over 2008.  That makes a lot of individuals feel better about the economy because they “feel” wealthier. Companies are no different.  With an up market we expect M&A activity to increase, generally as a laggard to the equities market.  Think about it:  a company’s stock […]

Read More

According to the Wall Street Journal,  November 2009 was the biggest month in over a year for deals involving consumer products and food and drinks firms, with $12.54 billion in acquisitions.  And it doesn’t look like this momentum will be stopped.  Kettle Chips, Just for Men and Grecian Formula hair-coloring products, Aqua Velva cologne, Brylcreem hair […]

Read More

Our buy-side clients at Capstone are seeing the same trend that a recent Reuters article reported: “Companies are making moves to divest assets that are not essential to their operations, while stronger firms, nudged on by their boards and shareholders, are looking to grow and position themselves for the recovery.”  This leads to numerous “orphan” non-core product […]

Read More

A recent round table of corporate dealmakers at a conference sponsored by The Deal offered some interesting insights into the strategy mindset of some of the largest corporations in America.  All of the panelists expressed a “commitment to external growth.” Two observations stood out to me. First, Sean Murphy of Abbott Labs said they are […]

Read More

There is a trend afoot for firms to become more vertically integrated – controlling their supply sources, manufacturing, and distribution channels.  A few recent examples include Oracle acquiring Sun Microsystems to integrate hardware and software and H-P acquiring EDS to capture more consulting and professional services revenue, along with buying 3Com to capture more customers.  […]

Read More

These are tough times for the legal profession.  Here in Washington, DC, one of the lawyer-capitals of the world,  it’s difficult to go a block without running into a recently graduated law student who’s looking for a job.  In these tough times, many law firms, large and small, are looking for a way to grow […]

Read More

As the Wall Street Journal pointed out last week, many Mom-and-Pop operations lack formal crisis plans – and are shutting down as a result of the current economy.  In our experience, this lack of planning is not limited to family enterprises.  It is disturbing how many firms – small, medium and even large – lack […]

Read More

The M&A statistics for the third quarter of 2009 are in and show the vast majority of the deals getting done are strategic.  The economic crisis and concerns over deal financing continued to significantly hold down the number and value of deals when compared to the same period last year.  Today, a Wall Street Journal […]

Read More

A story in the news last week caught my eye – U.S. antitrust enforcers are planning to revamp merger guidelines.  This isn’t surprising news – there have been expectations for quite awhile that the Obama administration was going to take a closer look at large corporate mergers.  It also won’t affect the vast majority of […]

Read More

Three recent deals are being heralded as “the revival” of the M&A market.  Although the linked article captures some of the larger buy-side deals (for example Disney’s $4 billion purchase of Marvel) that are now beginning to emerge, we here at Capstone are seeing a similar trend in the area of the market where we […]

Read More

PWC released its second quarter report on M&A activity in the industrial products sector.  Two items from the report stood out for me.  First, M&A activity in the second quarter actually rose compared to the first quarter of 2009 (although still down significantly compared to last year).  This could be a sign that some of […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More