Deal Makers Hope JPMorgan Conference Will Perk Up Biotechs

The JPMorgan Healthcare Conference, a huge gathering of capital-hungry biotech executives and their lawyers, bankers and investors looking to jump-start deals, launches Monday under a harsher climate than in the robust markets of recent years, leaving participants anxious to see whether the event will perk up the sluggish industry.

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“That's the great thing about this conference,” said Kara MacCullough, a corporate and securities shareholder at Greenberg Traurig LLP, which is hosting a deal-making workshop for life sciences and medical technology companies Monday. “Everybody in the food chain is there. It generates a lot more interaction for opportunities.”

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Attorneys say an outright sale could be attractive to companies discouraged by reduced valuations, while acquirers look to snatch bargains. Despite generally tighter credit conditions, Greenberg Traurig shareholder David Peck said larger companies and strategic buyers still have plenty of cash and debt options at their disposal to pursue targets.

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