Lessons learnt from the last merger frenzy

Private equity deal makers are increasingly wary of overpaying

New York

MERGERS and acquisitions may be back in fashion in the corporate sphere, but the titans of private equity apparently didn't get the memo.

Firms such as Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and the Blackstone Group, which spent tens of billions of dollars to buy publicly traded companies during the previous merger boom, before the 2008 financial crisis, have been largely sitting on the sidelines of the current acquisition frenzy. While buoyant stock prices have inspired corporations to strike bold deals, the euphoria has had a chilling effect on private equity deal makers, who are increasingly wary of overpaying.

The classic "take private" leveraged buyout - using debt to acquire an entire public company...

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