There’s no disputing the numbers. M&A activity has taken a decided and somewhat unexpected turn upward over the last two weeks, leading many to venture that a long awaited boom in corporate mating is at hand.
Huge cross border hostiles—BHP Billiton for Potash—and strategic over the top bids—Hewlett Packard's bidding above Dell’s deal to acquire 3Par—should infuse some confidence in a M&A market that had been nothing short of dull for most of 2010, but we are still a long way from a boom.
Mark Shafir, who runs global mergers and acquisitions at Citi, sounded a cautionary note today on The Strategy Session when he said that confidence among CEOs is still quite fragile and a key gating factor to a torrent of deals.
While bankers I speak with continue to be busy, most sound a similar refrain. Activity is picking up and seems likely to move at a more substantial pace into the fall, but few are expecting to set any records.