One of the more puzzling aspects of the current market and economic picture has been the lack of private equity and mergers-and-acquisition (M&A) activity. Transaction levels dried up during the credit contraction and have never really picked back up. Although corporations are flush with cash and access to the capital and credit markets has improved dramatically, we just are not seeing strategic or financial buyers emerge from their shell.
Weakness in Europe and uncertainty about the tax and regulatory environment after November's presidential election in the U.S. are among the reasons cited for the reluctance to embrace the urge to merge. In a recent survey by Ernst and Young, the number of corporations looking to engage in merger activity slipped to just 31% -- down from an already low 41% last October....641 more words left in this article. To read them, just click below and try Real Money FREE for 14 days.
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