Bob Baltimore, managing director, Harris Williams & Co.
Why do you predict a longer lull than usual for the start of 2013?
Things will start off a little bit slower because of the uncertainty associated with the political and economic environment. Once that's resolved, deal flow is going to be pretty good. It's hard for folks to make decisions today, not knowing what all the rules are. For 2012 we have a great backlog and we're happy with the opportunities, but deals will pick up closer to the midpoint of Q1.
What is your prediction for 2013, in general compared with recent years?
Credit markets have been very strong, and we don't see anything that would cause us to say they're going to get weak. They'll probably continue to stay strong. The strategic buyer universe, as the macro economy continues to improve, will get more excited about transactions. It's similar for private equity. A tremendous amount of dry powder needs to be put to work.
What's your recap of dealmaking activity in 2012?
The macro side was down, but we've had a great year. We've closed 40 percent more deals than this time in 2011. I think 2013 will be a strong year as well. What weighs on our mind for 2013 is that pipeline, so it's just an additive component to feeling good about the credit markets.
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