“We’ve slowly been picking up speed as far as deal flow goes,” says John Gabbert, chief executive of Seattle-based Pitchbook Data Inc., a private equity research and news company. "So far this year, 20 private equity funds have raised $15 billion nationally."
Speaking at the ACG conference held in Houston, private equity experts seemed more positive than six months ago.But lenders are still holding back on their end, the panel of private equity experts said.
“It’s still very difficult to get financing,” said Peter Rosenberg, managing director of the middle market group of investment banking and capital markets at Wells Fargo Securities LLC in San Francisco. “We have not seen many stable situations and we are finding out now that the lenders are being much more detailed in performing their own scrutiny and their own due diligence.”
Compared to the heyday of 2007, companies need to offer more equity to move forward.
“As we see it, the structures tend to be requiring about 40 percent or more equity to get the deals done,” said panelist Charles Riceman, managing director of Chicago-based Golub Capital. However, Riceman also said he expects to see a further increase in deal activity in the second half of 2010.
"Canadian business owners are recognizing these shifts as their top market, America, is not the economic powerhouse of five years ago. It is painful to make the adjustment and not believe that over the mountain, an economic recovery is coming," commented Jacoline Loewen, author of Money Magnet: Attracting Investors to Your Business. "A business is a life long work of art and to suddenly see the value fall drastically is hard to accept."