M&A Disrupts Summers for PE Execs and Bankers

It’s the Friday before the Labor Day weekend and I’m amazed at how many PE execs are answering their phones.

One buyout exec, who hasn’t answered my calls or messages for nearly a month, finally phoned. The exec said they were busy working on a deal that they hoped to finish by Labor Day. Another PE source called today to talk about a transaction that was finally closing (an exit!).

Bankers weren’t much different. One source said they took a vacation last week (to Jamaica) and was working this week. And another, who is also laboring on a deal, planned to stay in town and deal with Earl (which at this point has turned out to be a whole lot of nothing). “I’m weathering the hurricane here in New York,” the banker said.

A surprisingly strong M&A market has disrupted the summers of bankers and PE execs. There sure have been a lot of deals. HP outlasted Dell to buy 3Par for $3.25 billion, BHP is acquiring Potash for $39 billion (a white knight  may still emerge) and 3G Capital scooped up BK for $4 billion.

But there have also been a lot of companies going up for sale. Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe has put Concentra, a provider of healthcare and wellness services, on the block. Onex Corp. is selling the Center for Diagnostic Imaging, while Riverside Partners, the Boston PE shop, is selling Quantum Medical Imaging to Onex.

Still, all hope isn’t lost for PE execs looking to take a break. “I am actually at my summer house on lower Cape Cod riding out the hurricane!” one person wrote in an email.

What are you doing this weekend?

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