Finance: A Private-Equity Peak?

Deal jumping is just one indicator that the hottest buyout cycle in history is losing steam

Private-Equity players such as Cerberus Capital Management and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts have scored some of the biggest buyouts ever in recent months, including TXU, First Data Corp. and Chrysler. But are these cash-heavy private-equity (PE) firms racing against time? They need to win and ink future deals before the leveraged-buyout (LBO) window slams shut--a scenario Wall Street experts are betting will happen sooner rather than later.

That's one reason some private-equity players are going public, such as Blackstone Group and Fortress Investment Group. Others are resorting to deal jumping--busting in on another firm's deal with a higher bid, as Filmore Capital...

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