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The Big Question: Jim Casella, Chairman-CEO, Case Interactive Media

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Q. How is your search for new acquisitions going and what is your strategy going forward?

A. It's going quite well. We've established a pipeline of about a half-dozen companies that we're actively looking at and working against bid deadlines. We need to make some decisions on a couple of companies we're looking at very seriously. The companies are all in b-to-b, including health care, banking and energy, which are consistent with where we said we would be looking for opportunities, along with IT.

But the market has been quite choppy. I expected August to be a quiet month, but the whole liquidity issue is going to have a longer-term impact on how deals are leveraged and priced. Earlier, there was a lot of funding for deals, but I think you're going to have a much more conservative market in the next few months, and I don't think anyone knows yet how it's going to play out. I certainly don't believe there's going to be the kind of financing available in September, October and November that we saw going into July and August. Moving forward, we'll be looking at high-growth companies, with a strategy of organic growth and bolt-on deals. We don't want a company that's growing just 5% a year. We want a company growing 10% top line and, more important, bottom line.

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