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Corporate Leaders Optimistic for 2010
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Corporate deal-making is experiencing something of a recovery, according to the professionals who broker mergers and acquisitions.  Many of those dealmakers from Connecticut will meet Friday in Stamford, as WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

The Connecticut Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth will bring together private equity professionals, investment bankers, lenders, lawyers and others who shape the landscape for corporate mergers and acquisitions for an annual meeting.  According to Ramsey Goodrich, president of the association, they’ll have a lot to discuss.

"From a dealmaking perspective, the world fell apart last year.  With an enormous credit crunch, it put dealmaking, especially in the private equity community almost to a full standstill."

But a survey of the ACG’s members shows that as recently as the last few weeks, the landscape may have changed.

"The optimism that came out of the survey is refreshing.  It’s not just us that thinks we’re going to have a good year next year.  To see that 100% of the respondents in Connecticut are really feeling that strategic buyers are coming back to the table, is exciting to see."

Jamie McCleary of insurance brokerage Willis says the mergers and acquisitions market has behaved a lot like real estate.

"What we have seen occur over the past quarter or so is that sellers’ expectations have come down and are more in line with what the buyers expectation are, which I think is one of the major influencers in the amount of increased deal flow that we’ve seen again over the past three to four weeks."

Many dealmakers say in an environment where opportunities are still scarce and transactions difficult to close the chance to network at the private equity expo can be valuable.

For WNPR, I'm Harriet Jones.