Handshake - 
Listen To The Story


Steve Chiotakis: The financial markets seem to be frozen. But does that mean deal makers have cold feet? It's amazing what a little desperation could do for an urge to merge this new year. Here's Jill Barshay.

Jill Barshay: Even with credit markets all but paralyzed, there should still be some money available for mergers and acquisitions this year. That's according to Robert Filek, who advises on mergers at PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

But the deals in 2009 will be a far cry from the high-priced unions of this past year. Filek says this year's M&As could look more like firesales.

Robert Filek: I think the activity we will see in 2009 will be mergers of necessity, which really means that I am going to do a transaction that helps me sustain in this challenging economic environment.

Rather than corporate giants looking to expand, the shoe will be on the other foot. Troubled companies will be looking to initiate deals to stay afloat.

The few lucky companies with cash on hand -- or stock that's worth something -- will be the big beneficiaries.

In New York, I'm Jill Barshay for Marketplace.

“I think the best compliment I can give is not to say how much your programs have taught me (a ton), but how much Marketplace has motivated me to go out and teach myself.” – Michael in Arlington, VA

As a nonprofit news organization, what matters to us is the same thing that matters to you: being a source for trustworthy, independent news that makes people smarter about business and the economy. So if Marketplace has helped you understand the economy better, make more informed financial decisions or just encouraged you to think differently, we’re asking you to give a little something back.

Become a Marketplace Investor today – in whatever amount is right for you – and keep public service journalism strong. We’re grateful for your support.