Capital Markets

Leon Black: Welcome Back, M&A

Apollo Management's guru says LBO deals will resume within six months.
Sarah JohnsonApril 29, 2008

The recent, extraordinary lull for private equity deals appears to be ending. During a panel discussion on Tuesday, Apollo Management founder Leon Black said investment banks will likely begin funding deals later this year.

Black attributed the change to banks making a major dent in their debt cache used for leveraged buyouts, which should leave them primed for new investment in the next few months, according to remarks at a panel reported by Bloomberg News.

In effect, “we’re well on our way” to a recovery in the credit markets, Black said, according to the wire service’s account of a discussion during the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, Calif. “The banks will be in business again,” he added.

Apollo and Blackstone Group have snatched up a large portion of banks’ and brokerage firms’ discounted leveraged loans, used for LBO financing. The leveraged holdings were cut from $245 billion to $95 billion in July, Bloomberg reported, quoting a Standard & Poor’s statistic.

Indeed, these investments by private equity firms account for about $65 billion of the reduction in LBO debt, according to Bloomberg. The lack of bank funding for deals resulted in a 69 percent decline compared to last year, says the wire service.