Hedge fund managers looking to profit from corporate announcements such as mergers and acquisitions are scaling up their bets in Europe, confident that a resolution of the Greek debt crisis is near and will spark an increase in deal-making.

The corporate world has seen a revival in M&A as cash-rich companies look to put billions of dollars to work by buying in growth in the face of tepid demand in many developed markets.

But while deals are up by a fifth from last year in Europe to $436 billion so far this year -- the highest level since 2008 -- they lag a 47 percent jump in the United States and 60 percent advance in Asia, Thomson Reuters data showed.

A conclusion to the long-running Greek debt crisis, whatever the outcome, would remove one of the big obstacles to deal-making in Europe and unlock billions more in corporate cash.

"The only thing holding us back is this dance still going on for Greece," said Reade Griffith, co-founder of Polygon, who manages one of the biggest event driven hedge funds in Europe.

A recent Reuters poll indicates a one-in-three chance of a Greece reaching a deal with its creditors.

A government spokesman said on Monday Greece was willing to compromise to reach a deal and is ready to negotiate until the end of June.

Griffith said he has doubled exposure to M&A deals in his $600 million European event-driven hedge fund, part of $1.5 billion his firm manages, to about 40 percent, although he declined to say when the move took place.

Part of a broader industry strategy aimed at making money from major corporate events, these deal-focused funds gained 8 percent as a group through the end of April this year, their best start since 2010, and above the 2 percent gain for their U.S. rivals, hedge fund data provider Eurekahedge said.

"Today we see M&A activity becoming relevant to more than 30 percent of our potential upside return in many cases," said Luke Lynch, deputy chief investment officer at European hedge fund Oceanwood, which manages $2.2 billion and has closed to new investors.

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