Jimmy Lee, JPMorgan’s legendary dealmaker, just finished up on CNBC’s new show, Strategy Session. Not only did he say the credit markets “are wide open,” but he said up to $10 billion in debt is now available for a big LBO, provided it sits on top of about $5 billion in equity and is, of course, the right kind of company. That jibes with what Carlyle Group’s David Rubenstein told the Washington Post earlier this week.
“If you look at these business cycles, the signs are all set for an M&A rebound” Lee said on the show. He added that CEO confidence is on the rise and companies have the more cash on their balance sheet than at any time since 1952 and that cash is earning close to zero.
Lee also sees more mega private equity firms going public along the lines of KKR and Blackstone as they take the next steps to institutionalize their business models. The most important deal of the year is probably the IPO of General Motors and you can bet JPMorgan and every other bank is clamoring to get in. “Jamie and I want to lead that deal,” Lee said. (Government take note: Jimmy drives a GM car.)