CHICAGO Gone are the days of large corporate buyouts and billion-dollar transactions. Most merger-and-acquisition activity in 2008 was driven by deal making between franchisors and franchisees, as tight credit markets and weaker industry fundamentals reduced traditional buyout activity, according to new data from investment bank J.H. Chapman Group LLC. In its 2008 Chain Restaurant Merger & Acquisition report, released this week, the Chicago-based firm reported that the total number ...

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