M&A Activity Still Strong in Private Equity Firms

Global M&A activity has reached its peak, according to a report recently released by KPMG, though two analysts believe that's only true among small companies -- not when the buyers are large businesses or private equity firms.

Tom Burnett, director of research at Access Wall Street, said M&A activity among small companies may have peaked for now, but he believes high-profile deals could still continue.

He referred to Rio Tinto's recent cash bid for aluminum producer Alcan, as well as Royal Bank of Scotland's bid for Dutch group ABN Amro.

"Right now, it's too early to say the game is over," Burnett said.

Though private equity firms have made headlines with their acquisitions, their M&A activity is slowing, according to Gregg Feinstein, managing director of Houlihan Lokey.

"The leveraged buyout firms that have become such an enormous part of the marketplace are having a little bit of a tougher time getting the kind of aggressive leverage which they had gotten over the last year," Feinstein said.

As for M&A activity among smaller companies, Feinstein agrees with KPMG's report.