Going Fishing for Cheap Companies

A few buyers are again casting their lines to reel in values -- for strategic or financial gain

In recent weeks, there has been a flurry of high-profile acquisitions. Warren E. Buffett snapped up distressed assets in the energy sector. Texas Pacific Group, a takeover giant, announced it was leading the acquisition of Burger King (DEO ). Then, a deal that caught everyone's attention: IBM's July 30 announcement that it would buy PwC Consulting for $3.5 billion. Gregory D. Brenneman, the man PricewaterhouseCoopers brought in to sell its consulting arm, says the time was right -- for both IBM (IBM ) and PwC. In the 1990s, "clearly you had some major-league dope smoking, [with] multiples you just couldn't explain," he says. Now, "market values are coming down to reality."

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.