Chances are high that you're reading this issue of Mergers & Acquisitions on your way to, or at, ACG InterGrowth 2013, which is being held at the Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Fla., from April 22 to 25. For a guide to the annual conference, please read my overview and reporter Allison Collins' sidebar on the ACG chapters in Florida.
We're looking forward to the myriad networking opportunities at InterGrowth. We're also excited to hear from the keynote speakers. Former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.) and Erskine Bowles, the former White House chief of staff for President Bill Clinton who founded boutique investment bank Bowles Hollowell Conner & Co., will be taking center stage. So will Adm. Eric Olson, the former commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command and the highest ranking Navy SEAL ever. We'll be conducting video interviews with some of the speakers. To view them, visit themiddlemarket.com/video.
You can also watch our video interview with Andrew Rice, senior vice president of the Jordan Co., about investing in China. The private equity firm has transacted 26 deals in the country. We spoke with Rice at a conference hosted by Mergers & Acquisitions and Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Excerpts appear in this issue's Private Equity Perspective column, and we'll have more in the next issue.
Also in this issue, don't miss our cover story by contributing editor Danielle Fugazy, which focuses on dealmaking in the real estate market. Private equity firms, Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) and strategic buyers are all taking advantage of the depressed state of the real estate market to gobble up properties, with the pace of dealmaking accelerating quickly. "Since January, there has been an avalanche of capital and a stampede of players into the market who had been on the sidelines licking their wounds from deals done in 2007," says Matt Galligan, president of CIT Real Estate Finance. Galligan's group focuses on originating and underwriting senior secured commercial real estate loan transactions primarily in Boston, New York and Washington, D.C. The firm closed on 21 loans in 2012 and has had a busy start to 2013.
You'll also find in this issue assistant managing editor Anthony Noto's column, The Buyside. Noto takes a look at some of the big deals that have been announced recently, such as the $11 billion combination of American Airlines (OTCQB: AAMRQ) and U.S. Airways (NYSE: LCC) and Silver Lake Partners' taking Dell Inc. (Nasdaq: DELL) private for $24.4 billion.
Are blockbuster deals making a comeback?
Mary Kathleen Flynn