Dealmakers have been predicting that 2014 would be a great year for M&A, and, so far, they’re right. The first nine months of the year yielded 1,721 completed middle-market transactions, the second-highest deal volume for the January-through-September period in five years. Total deal value was $230.3 billion, the highest for the period in five years. (See related graphic.)

“Everyone believes there are real feet to the economy now,” Dinan & Co. founder Mike Dinan told Mergers & Acquisitions assistant managing editor Anthony Noto in a video interview shot at the ACG Los Angeles 2014 Business Conference. “There’s buy-in that the economy is on the mend. There’s plenty of cash on balance sheets. Now is the time to deploy that cash, and M&A is one of the likely areas.” (View the whole interview at www.themiddlemarket.com/video.)

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