City: No big deals

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The Independent Online
WITH the exception of one or two important deals, 1992 was one of the worst years ever for merger and acquisition work in the City. Nor was there much of that juicy privatisation work to compensate. This year just has to be better, most merchant bankers were saying even up to a couple of weeks ago. With share prices at record levels and the economy pulling out of recession, everything seemed set fair for a substantial uplift in activity - if not quite a return to the merger boom of the 1980s.

Now they're not so sure. There are plenty of companies out there wanting to refinance themselves but, if the truth be known, not many who yet want to dip a toe back into the takeover scene. For most companies, this year will be much like last - one where the emphasis will be on refocusing and cost-cutting rather than grand acquisition strategies. For corporate finance departments, 1993 is going to be another lean year.