Cash is a “dead asset,” which earns nothing, and mergers and acquisitions (M&A) is in, said Gary Parr, vice chairman of investment bank Lazard and one of the leading authorities in the world on M&A, on Bloomberg TV.
Parr said through the financial crisis and shortly after it, holding cash was perhaps a smart move because it was an insurance policy – against liquidity shortages – in case of a double-dip recession.
Now, as the economy has stabilized and the financing markets have come back, better options exist than simply holding cash.
He said share buybacks and investing in capital equipment are options, but strategic acquisitions are certainly attractive as well.
Indeed, in 2010, US M&A activities and IPOs jumped from 2009, especially in the technology sector where big companies scooped up a number of smaller strategic and undervalued competitors.
Nevertheless, he said growth is better in several emerging market economies, so US acquisitions are less attractive in this light.
Again, trends confirm what Parr is saying, in that deal-making in Asia have led the way so far in the post-Great Recession period.