Wednesday, March 26, 2008

For Those Who Used to Have a Strong Stomach...

Anyone betting that the takeover of CCU would actually be completed this week, despite previous delays, is having a lousy day. However, according to the options market the deal isn't dead yet. A significant amount of options activity is screaming, much like the peasant from underneath the pile of dead bodies in Monty Python's "Holy Grail", "I'm not dead yet!" Implied volatility is high (I call anything over 100 high), and some are arguing that the Wall Street Journal's report that the buyout was on the brink was inaccurate. I remain a skeptic on this deal, unless the terms are changed. The last thing any bank wants to do right now is pile more leveraged loans that they agreed to many moons ago on the heap that they already have to mark down. The last thing any private equity player wants to do is pay far too much for a company, despite being incredibly willing to do so a mere six months ago. Needless to say, the results will be interesting.

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