I believe 2012 will be a very good year.
It's the year of the dragon after all. My kind of year.
Four trends main reasons why I believe 2012 well prove a great year for M&A advisers and distressed business buyers like myself.
2) Ongoing Trend: Lenders and debtors continue to kick the can down the road (amending extending, and pretending), restructuring debt outside of Chapter 11. This of course allows stakeholders a better chance of maintaining control. Whereas bankruptcy under a Chapter 11 filing used to have a higher probability of turning into an actual restructuring of the debt - the original intent of a Chapter 11 - for the past decade-plus, companies have had a harder time maintaining control of the outcome for a variety of reasons.
3) Short-term Trend: Bush-era tax cuts on capital gains are expiring. Those looking to sell their businesses in the next 2-3 years, might be better off selling in 2012 rather than waiting.
4) Long-term Trend: Baby-boomers are retiring en-mass over the next 10-15 years, and many of these are business owners looking to exit before the market becomes too saturated with an over-supply of businesses.
Almost one month into the new year, and for me, 2012 is proving to be a good year already.