Just because private equity firms don't have access to easy money anymore doesn't mean the M&A market is closed. In fact, there are companies in an even better position to buy now that the gravy train is slowing for Stephen Schwarzman and company.
Treehouse and B&G Foods have made a business buying ailing brands and turning them around for a profit. But until now they've had some heavy competition from the private-equity sector. The recent credit crunch has left an opening for Treehouse and B&G, and Cramer expects them to capitalize on it.
Treehouse made its shareholders good money when it turned around Keebler. It currently owns private-label company E.D. Smith, San Antonio sauces, Santa Fe chili and jalapeno peppers, Oxford pickles and peppers, among others. Cramer said Treehouse could put on at least $100 million in debt, and it has plenty of free cash flow to fund even more purchases. Kraft's salad dressing business is one potential target.