beach1.jpgAugust is traditionally a quiet month for M&A, as bankers head out to the Hamptons or further afield. This year could prove especially quiet as people make the most of the slow dealflow — particularly on the private equity side — to take longer than usual breaks.

But even as Wall Street slows down for the summer, a few auctions are showing signs of life. The effort to sell Irish drugmaker Elan’s drug delivery unit is one sale that is hotter than most, according to bankers. First round bids went in last week and a number of U.S. private equity names are said to be keen on the asset, which could fetch $1.3 billion to $1.4 billion.

Also still in play through the dog days of summer are Reed Elsevier’s Reed Business Information unit, with first round bids due this week expected to range from $2 billion to $2.5 billion, and Rio Tinto’s U.S. coal assets.

With the prospect of sharply decreased bonuses, summer trips may be a little less posh this year. Have you downgraded from the Hamptons or made other cost-cutting vacation plans? Tell us in comments.