Conditions that facilitate mergers and acquisitions are changing-positively, dramatically, and rapidly. Corporate boardrooms are once again abuzz with discussions regarding the next deal. After several years in which worldwide M&A activity dropped steeply, 2010 was a recovery year both worldwide and in the U.S.-but it looks like corporate dealmaking could really roar back into the headlines in 2011.
Many of the largest global companies appear ready to make one or more major acquisitions in the year ahead. That may be good news for shareholders: Studies have shown that M&A deals struck during soft economic periods yield higher returns than those completed during economic booms. While some companies may continue to be reluctant to proceed with acquisitions until conditions are perfect, opportunities for those that do proceed could be greater, because less competition might translate into reasonable prices for target companies.
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