Wave of Buyouts Ahead?

Tuesday, 20 Mar 2012 | 7:07 PM ET
Fast Money Portfolio
Fast Money Portfolio

Greg Zuckerman of the WSJ tells us a wave of buyouts could be on the horizon.

In a live interview on Fast Money, Zuckerman reveals that he's been talking with private equity firms and he's hearing that they have a lot of cash on the books, and they're looking to put it to work.

“Private equity firms are sitting on $430 billion in cash,” he says. And, just as important, the environment for striking deals is getting better.

Fast Money Portfolio: Buyout Wave Coming?
"Bankers are much more eager to lend for deals, so private-equity firms need to come up with much less equity," says Greg Zuckerman, of The Wall Street Journal. The Fast Money traders discuss sectors and stocks which are primed for buyout activity.

“The debt markets are improving. Just 6 months ago, private equity would have paid half in cash. Now they can put down 20% and borrow the rest.”

If Zuckerman is onto something, that begs the question, who are the obvious targets?

“We’re going to see a lot in healthcare – mid cap names. A lot of these providers have pressures to cut costs and a merger is a good way to do it,” Zuckerman says.

But that's not all - he also says, it’s not just private equity that's going on the prowl.

"I think we also see strategic deals. If you’re a company sitting on $2.2 trillion; if you’re a company that’s hard to grow in a low growth economy, one way to grow is through acquisition.”

But any way you slice it - the word on the street is, “Big private equity firms are saying deals lie ahead," Zuckerman says.

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Trader disclosure: On March20, 2012 , the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s "Fast Money" were owned by the "Fast Money" traders; Tim Seymour is long BAC; Tim Seymour is long INTC; Tim Seymour is long CSCO; Tim Seymour is long YHOO; Tim Seymour is long FCX; Tim Seymour is long GFI; Guy Adami is long C; Guy Adami is long GS; Guy Adami is long INTC; Guy Adami is long AGU; Guy Adami is long MSFT; Guy Adami is long NUZ; Guy Adami is long BTU; Brian Kelly is long SMH; Brian Kelly is long QQQ CALLS; Brian Kelly is long SPY CALLS; Brian Kelly is long IWM CALLS; Brian Kelly is long KRE; Brian Kelly is long SPY; Brian Kelly is long IWM; Brian Kelly is long USG; Brian Kelly is long IYR; Brian Kelly is long ITB; Brian Kelly is long US DOLLAR; Brian Kelly is short AUSSIE $; Brian Kelly is short YEN; Brian Kelly is short NEW ZEALAND $; Steve Grasso is long FRO; Steve Grasso is long ANR

CNBC.com with wires.