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 article by Peter Lattman reports that leverage is out and equity is in. Although these numbers are grim, there is reason for hope. A number of big name deals, such as Kraft-Cadbury and Disney-Marvel, have injected the market with some much needed optimism. These types of deals are evidence that strategic deals are going to lead the way to recovery with private equity to follow – not the other way around.