If there's one thing the economic downturn taught the industry, it's to use debt sparingly. Although lending markets are open and private equity firms are still leveraging their deals, there is more focus today on creating value through operational improvements. Mergers & Acquisitions convened a special roundtable to discuss the benefits and challenges associated with different strategies to create value in today's market. McGladrey LLP sponsored the event and the excerpted discussion that follows provides a range of perspectives from key players who are working in and with portfolio companies. Participants included private equity investors, a consultant and operating partners.

Fugazy (Moderator): This used to be called the leveraged buyout business. Now there's talk of not using leverage, and instead doing other things to enhance value. Would you say that's accurate?

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