Disney-Marvel Deal Could Signal M&A Recovery

Monday deals push August volume up 40%
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 2, 2009 1:41 PM CDT
A Mickey Mouse figurine created by Japanese artist Tenga is displayed Hong Kong the opening of a Mickey Mouse art exhibition in Hong Kong Thursday, July 9, 2009.   (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
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(Newser) – Two major deals finished on the last day of August—projected to be the worst month for deal making since 1995—have raised expectations that the mergers and acquisitions market is finally coming out of hibernation, the Wall Street Journal reports. Monday saw Disney buy Marvel for $4 billion and Baker Hughes buy BJ Services for $5.5 billion—pushing monthly deal volume up 40% in one day.

Though the market remains largely moribund—even with the late August transactions, the third quarter will be the slowest for deals this decade—analysts say that boards are becoming less fearful. "Given that this down period was an extended one, there is a lot of pent-up demand," said the head of M&A at Barclays. "The dialogue with CEOs is different now than it was just two months ago. They are no longer worried about catching a falling knife and are now worried about getting left behind."