The Dark Side of the M&A Boom

It has been financed by a flood of junk bonds. Defaults have been low, but that may not last, especially in automotive, health care, and telecom

Earlier this year, buyout giants Kohlberg Kravis Roberts struck an agreement for a $33 billion leveraged buyout of hospital company HCA (HCA). The deal is the largest buyout ever, eclipsing KKR's record purchase of RJR Nabisco in 1988. That deal was worth $31.4 billion, including debt.

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