M&A Slowdown is 'Totally Understandable': Citi's Shafir

Merger and acquisition activity is down, with volumes from September relative to July $100 billion lower. That's “very clear evidence of slowing,” Mark Shafir, co-head global M&A at Citigroup , told CNBC Friday.

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“It’s still about confidence [at] the board and CEO level. Obviously, the challenge is in Europe, our own deficit issues, issues in China. All this stuff has created a macroeconomic environment that makes things a lot more difficult and created a lot more uncertainty,” he said.

“It’s totally understandable, in my judgment, that people are backing off a little bit here,” added Shafir.

On the other hand, he noted there could be a lot of M&A activity "if we do get a European solution that is credible … and we could see this business actually perform better than people expected."

Shafir advised Kmart on its $11 billion purchase of Sears; the merged company became Sears Holdings in 2005. He also worked on CME Group’s $8 billion purchase of NYMEX Holdings.

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