Amidst hedge fund billionaires in Las Vegas, dealmakers predict an M&A boom in 2015

Las vegas stripRussavia, Wikimedia CommonsThe SALT conference is in Las Vegas

They may just be talking their book, but dealmakers and bankers at the SALT Conference in Las Vegas are looking forward to an M&A boom in 2015.

“We think you’re going to see another record year in M&A,” says Michael Weinberger, portfolio manager with York Capital Management.

“We’re seeing mega-deals,” says Bob Nardelli, former head of Chrysler and currently CEO of investment and advisory firm XLR-8.

On panels and in the hallways people here are citing a plethora of factors for their optimism.

  • Activist investors are awash with cash, and can easily pressure CEOs and boards into making a move (if only to preserve their jobs).
  • The market has been more receptive to M&A announcements, than perhaps ever before.
  • The economy (according to some) continues to improve, and perhaps most of all, corporate balance sheets are packed with cash.
  • In Europe, private equity firms are emboldened by a regulatory environment that has lent them an advantage in being able to amass more debt than US firms to do deals.

We’ll have breaking news, updates and analysis coming from SALT in Las Vegas all week…

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