Global Investing

from Commentaries:

Bankruptcy-related M&A at 5-year high – more to come?

This week's Thomson Reuters Investment Banking Scorecard shows bankruptcy-related M&A at a five year high.

 

There were five bankruptcy-related M&A deals announced during the week, including the acquisition of venture-backed public company Nanogen by French investment holding company Financiere Elitech for $25.7 million. 

 

So far this year there have been 173 bankruptcy-related deals, the highest level since the same period of 2004 when there were 202.

 

During 2009 the most bankruptcy-related M&A deals have occurred in the industrials sector with 23 percent, followed by the media and entertainment sector with 16 percent. 

 

In terms of geography, U.S. targets represent 83 deals or 48 percent of the total of bankruptcy M&A.

Market pressure will build diamonds

The financial deluge will bare real gems for investors flush with cash, but watch out for the rubbish, the super-rich have been told at a Geneva conference. The first round of quarterly results has brought some pleasant surprises, but investors should be cautious and cherry pick if they want to hit the jackpot, was the mantra.
“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. But you have to pick the winners. You have to separate the diamonds from the tatt,” said Giles Worthington, head of European equities at investment fund M&G Investments.
This is more easily said than done, as many companies looking rock-bottom cheap may appear so just because they are on the verge of bankruptcy. And the bottom of the current downward cycle is not yet in sight.

 ”It’s not just because we had a year of correction that the next year will be positive,” said Ariel Sergio Goekmen, an economist and a director at Credit Suisse’s head office who looks after wealthy families’ investments. “The recession could be deeper than one expects. We have not yet seen the darkest side of the night.”
One tip is to keep an eye on companies with a solid balance sheet and wait for just a few more companies to go bust.
“We need more blood on the carpet. Once we see more bankruptcies, then we know we are close to the bottom.”

(Reuters photo: Sukree Sukplan)