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'Fast' Traders: End of the Year Deals

Catherine Holahan of CNBC's "Fast Money"
Thursday, 23 Dec 2010 | 11:46 AM ET

End of the year deals were the focus of two "Fast Money" traders on Thursday morning.

Metropolitan Capital’s Karen Finerman was watching for more retail deals in the wake of a $1.6 billion private equity bid for Jo-Ann Stores . The fabric retailer on Thursday announced a $61-per-share offer by Leonard Green & Partners to take it private.

Finerman said a few more deals were possible by year-end. She was expecting even more retail deal-making next year.

“Valuations are not expensive and even though the space had had a run-up there is still so much value there, or at least there is a perception of value,” Finerman said. “A lot of deals are rushing to get done by year-end.”

Private equity firms have been particularly acquisitive in the retail sector during the last few months. In November, J.Crew announced a $3 billion takeout deal with TPG Capital and Leonard Green & Partners. In that same month, Bain Capital Partners closed its $1.8 billion acquisition of kids’ retailer Gymboree.

Like Finerman, author Stephen Weiss was also weighing whether future deals would get done. He was shifting focus, however, from the retail sector to mining.

Stillwater Mining inked a deal earlier this month with General Motors for palladium. The multi-year agreement, revealed in an SEC filing on Thursday, spurred Weiss to look at other possible deals to secure input prices. Palladium is used in systems that reduce car emissions and in auto electronics.

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