Introduction to the Fourth Edition

“It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.”

When Dickens first shared this quote with the world, he was not referring to the current state of the merger and acquisition (M&A) markets but he might as well have been. In the time between the publication of the third edition of this book in 2010 and today, the overall financial markets and the levels of M&A activity have experienced both polar opposites and everything in between. From the seemingly insatiable appetite for middle-market companies that private equity firms and other buyers had in 2006 and 2007, thereby driving valuations through the roof, to the fast ending to the party and the sobering effects of a virtual halt in 2008 to 2009, sending ...

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