Speaking at the first U.S. instalment of the SuperReturn private-equity conference in Boca Raton, Apollo co-founder Josh Harris said attendees should get their deals done now, before the economy really tanks.
WSJ Deal Journal: “‘We don’t think we’ve seen the bottom,’ he said, citing record-low consumer confidence, plummeting housing prices, a broken financial sector and an oil-price shock that has yet to work its way through the system. He said we should all brace ourselves for a nosedive in the economy and a broad-based distressed environment.
But this is the private-equity industry, where they call their conference SuperReturn and the glass is always three-quarters full. ‘The right time to buy a company is when prices are cheap,’ said Harris. ‘The biggest single determinant of return is purchase price,’ said Harris. ‘The right time to do buyouts is now,’ he said. He then stopped, reminding himself and others of the great irony of the buyout business: it’s harder to buy when prices are cheap because that’s when it’s the hardest to get financing.”
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