NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- With a 'fiscal cliff' looming and reports of a lost year in holiday season retail sales, dealmakers face an uncertain outlook for 2013 after a forgettable year in mergers and aquisitions.
Still, with earnings and stock markets continuing to trend upward alongside a recovering U.S. economy there's reason for optimism that the New Year may revive animal spirits and push corporations and private equity giants into acquisitions.
Investors should watch a near half-year takeover drama for struggling electronics retailer Best Buy (BBY) as a proxy for the M&A market headed into 2013.
A possible takeover could confirm the key expected drivers of the deals market, such as private equity and access to cheap buyout or merger financing. Meanwhile, a Best Buy buyout could also signal demand for blockbuster turnaround deals, amid a handful of beaten down former blue-chips like Research In Motion (RIMM), Dell (DELL), and social media busts such as Groupon (GRPN) and Zynga (ZNGA).Were no Best Buy deal to materialize after a takeover dance that started in early August, it could counter expectations that private equity giants will play an outsized role in M&A markets and might underscore the impact of the Fiscal Cliff and weak signs of holiday season sales on C-Suite aggression. After Best Buy founder and former chairman Richard Schulze proposed a $24-to-$26 a share takeover of the electronics retailer -
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