Hedge funds forced to adapt or die

International Herald Tribune – The mergers and acquisitions business is about to take a deep dive.

For most of the financial crisis, it has remained surprisingly buoyant. This was partly because there was a lot of business to be done selling troubled banks like Merrill Lynch, HBOS and Fortis.

There was also the overhang of deals from the bubble era. But in the past week, two such megadeals – the miner BHP Billiton’s hostile bid for a rival, Rio Tinto, and the planned leveraged buyout of Bell Canada – have come apart at the seams.

As the financing squeeze tightens, other deals could follow suit.

Financing Verizon Wireless’s acquisition of Alltel is proving to be a strain. Verizon Wireless has issued bonds and is looking to raise some bank debt. But the company may have to pay a high price.

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