A Quick And Dirty LBO Screen

With each day bringing new and more ridiculous M&A, and now LBO rumors, we thought it would be a good idea to highlight the public companies that have at least a fighting chance of going private. Using a simplistic template from UBS, we present the thirty companies which would generate the highest stock return should they get acquired, assuming a 4.5x Debt/EBITDA pro forma leverage (as much as TPG would like, 10x leverage is not coming back...Unless Joe Cassano is hired to run Chrysler's take private group), and also assuming a 40% equity portion in the transaction. In other words, these are the companies that at least on paper have the highest equity expansion potential in a 7.5x EV/EBITDA. While this analysis ignores whether or not any of these companies actually generate substantial cash flow to cover pro forma interest, or are a logical fit for any financial acquiror, any company not on this list is likely already equity heavy and as a result even if acquired will not result in material upside. As the chart below shows, the maximum stock upside ranges between over 200% in the case of R, to just over 22% in the case of BBY. This below list by no means suggests that any of these companies on it will be LBOed: it should merely be used a benchmark for modeling purposes.