Danaher (NYSE: DHR) is acquiring biomedical testing company Beckman Coulter (NYSE: BEC) for $5.87 Billion.  Danaher’s CFO says they are paying for the deal with 25% in cash, 60% debt, and 15% from equity  — which comes to about 40% down and 60% in debt.  This continues to indicate that the credit markets are likely […]

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As we all see deal volumes and associated valuations increase, it is more important than ever to have a robust pipeline of acquisition prospects that you are evaluating, getting to know and meeting with.  We see clients every day focused on one particular candidate and end up broken-hearted when their chosen one slips away.  Could […]

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The largest US-based retailer of cupcakes has agreed to sell to a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) called 57th Street General Acquisition Corp for $66 million.  A SPAC is a publicly traded company that raises capital for the purpose of buying companies – think of a private equity company only the money comes from investors […]

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This has been an amazing past couple of weeks for the future of the M&A market.  Monday, August 2, was the sixth most active day of debt trading this year with $11.5 Billion placed according to Dealogic.    IBM raised $1.5B of 3-year debt for an astonishing 1%! Other takers of debt were ArcelorMittal, Citigroup, Credit […]

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This post was submitted by Capstone Managing Director John Dearing: When you meet with a target company OWNER, make sure you capture your thoughts immediately thereafter. There are several reasons this is important: 1. You will (if properly prepared) undoubtedly gain valuable insights into the inner workings of the company 2. This data should be […]

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“The First Date”: Contacting Owners and Successful First Meetings CPE Credit Awarded Thursday, July, 29 2010; 11:00 AM ET Hosted by David Braun, Capstone CEO David Braun, CEO of Washington, DC- based external growth consulting firm Capstone, is hosting a webinar with Capstone Project Manager Gretchen Johnson. Having identified the target companies you would like […]

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Private equity fundraising from 82 closed funds totaled only $41 Billion in the second quarter – the lowest level since 2003, according to the Private Equity Professional Digest. This is important news for strategic buyers because it continues to demonstrate that financial buyers will remain limited in their M&A activity – but that the clock […]

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When is enough planning, enough? As strategic buyers, our clients are constantly seeking additional data on acquisition prospects.  This is not a bad perspective, but it does become an issue when they don’t have the ideal data set for evaluation purposes established at the beginning of the process – to compare candidates to each other […]

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Negotiations, whether between individuals, businesses or even countries are nothing more than a process in which concerned parties come to an agreement that serves everyone’s best interests. Instead of one dominating or imposing power over the other, the parties attempt to reach a consensus in which everyone is satisfied. When preparing to negotiate you need […]

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John Dearing, Managing Director of Washington, DC- based external growth consulting firm Capstone, is hosting a webinar with Capstone Analyst Bob Kwaja. You’ve formulated your acquisition strategy.  You’ve assembled your growth team. You’ve researched and selected the top markets for growth.  Now, let Capstone show you how to find the best acquisition targets in those […]

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Caterpillar announced it is acquiring Electro-Motive Diesel for $820 Million.  The company, which has revenues of about $1.8 billion is currently owned by two private equity firms who acquired it from General Motors in 2005 for around $200 million (read my other post about PE divesting before tax rates increase). Caterpillar already owns a railcar […]

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Congress is close to taxing “carried-interest” income on fund managers at 30% in 2011 from the current 15% capital gains rate. The rate is likely to go to 33% in 2013.  Congress may exclude the first 25% of income from this higher tax rate (which doesn’t really make sense to me) but the real story […]

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Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal had an article about how poorly large private equity deals have performed.   No wonder.  What value do they bring to the company?  Stripping off and selling key assets, re- re-leveraging the balance sheet.   How does this financial engineering grow or improve a company? Well, maybe some financial discipline is needed.  But […]

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Capstone Webinar: Discovering the Right Markets for Growth David Braun, CEO of Washington, DC- based external growth consulting firm Capstone, is hosting a webinar with Capstone Senior Analyst Matt Craft. There is a unique opportunity in the next 12-15 months to grow your business through M&A.  However, before you start to go after acquisition prospects, […]

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Nothing like today’s considerable drop in the market to remind everyone that the economy remains on shaky ground.  I stand by my past prediction that the market will not improve dramatically for another 12 months. This turmoil does two things.  It makes sellers more fearful that the bottom could fall out again and it may […]

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H-P is acquiring Palm for $1B and they say it is to position them further into the smartphone market which reportedly grew by over 60% last year.  H-P’s head of strategy, Shane Robison said “It’s an opportunity for us to get into a very big market”.   Understandable?  It is to me.  I’m not saying it’s […]

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When our new clients inquire about how we make prioritization decisions with limited data in the world of M&A, our answer is simple and straight-forward – you don’t need all the information as long as you have the CRITICAL information.  Consider this process: •         Step #1 – You need “screening” criteria that will help you […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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