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M&A Market Will Remain 'Flat' This Year: Kindler

The flat market for mergers and acquisitions is unlikely to see a lift any time soon, the global head of M&A at Morgan Stanley said Thursday.

“The fact is we are in a very flat market, it’s going to be a flat market for the rest of the year,” Rob Kindler told CNBC.

The M&A market last year had "twenty $10 billion dollar deals—this year maybe eight,” he said.

For that reason over the past two months almost every public company of significant size "has gotten calls from private equity guys,” the Morgan Stanley exec said.

Big premiums are coming to market, but "the premiums are misleading; it all comes down to what the multiples are," he said, in reference to Thursday's announcement that The Carlyle Group will acquireNBTY for $3.8 billion, or $55 a share in cash, offering shareholders a huge premium.

"For every one these deals, there are twenty that aren’t happening," Kindler added.

Kindler cited a few reasons why more deals aren't happening:

  • The deals are too difficult.
  • The equity checks are too big.
  • Corporate boards typically don’t want to do these types of deals because "they think it has negative press" associated with it.
  • Management's don't want to do these deal because "they think it’s going to put them in play."

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Programming note: "The Strategy Session," hosted by David Faber and Gary Kaminsky, airs weekdays at Noon ET on CNBC.