By a 3 to 1 ratio, advisors agree that this is the best time for sellers to maximize the value of their business since the market peak in 2007
Existing companies dominated acquisitions this quarter, showing up as the number one buyer type in every category except the smallest Main Street businesses, according to the Q2 2013 Market Pulse Quarterly Survey Report. Compared to Q2 2012, existing companies appear to be edging out private equity firms for deals valued between $5 million and $50 million. In the $2 million to $5 million segment, individual buyers (including past business owners) lost half their market share. They accounted for 50 percent of the deals in that section in Q2 2012, but only 26 percent in Q2 2013.
The Q2 Market Pulse Quarterly Survey Report, released by the International Business Brokers Association (IBBA) in partnership with the Pepperdine Private Capital Markets Project at Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management, evaluates market conditions for businesses being sold in Main Street (values up to $2 million) and lower middle market (values $2 million to $50 million). This quarter marks the first full year of the project.
“Buyer trends tie back to the idea that there are a limited number of quality businesses available,” says Jey Arul, President, VR Business Brokers in Edmonton, Alberta, member of IBBA. “Some existing companies were forced to buy smaller businesses in order to meet their growth mandates. They’re outbidding the individual buyers due to the synergies they can achieve that individual buyers typically cannot.”
Sixty-one percent of the respondents said that baby boomers are beginning to exit their businesses in larger numbers than the previous five years. Retirement was the number one reason driving business sales across almost every sector except for the smallest businesses. Advisors predict deal volume will grow, versus stay the same, by a nearly 2 to 1 margin.
“As 1,000 baby boomers in Canada turn 65 every day, it comes down to a simple numbers game,” says Dr. Craig Everett, director of the Pepperdine Private Capital Markets Project. “The boomer exits are finally letting this demand be satisfied, which could boost deal flow dramatically.”
The report also found that for businesses valued at $500,000 or less, burnout was the primary reason for sale, followed closely by retirement. “Prolonged stress and uncertainty in the economy has resulted in an increased number of Main Street business owners selling their company,” says Jey Arul, principal of VR Business Brokers.
In the lower middle market, for businesses valued between $2 million and $5 million, manufacturing led at 27 percent of completed deals over the last three months, followed by consumer goods/retail and wholesale/distribution, both at 13 percent. Manufacturing also led the $5 million to $50 million sector at 38 percent, followed by healthcare at 15 percent. This is a significant increase in manufacturing activity versus the same time period last year when it accounted for seven percent and 23 percent of activity by sector, respectively.
Other key findings:
· Advisors agree, by a 3 to 1 ratio, that this is the best time for sellers to maximize the value of their business since the market peak in 2007-2008. In the lower middle market, less than two percent of respondents anticipate that values will decrease in the next quarter. Most respondents (75% or more) predict multiples will stay the same, with another 10 percent to 24 percent predicting increases.
· For deals valued at less than $500,000, 68 percent of respondents said supply is in the buyer’s favor. Advisors characterize the market as neutral for deals valued at $500,000 to $5 million and 68 percent of respondents say it’s a seller’s market for businesses in the $5 million to $50 million segment.
· The Q2 2013 study continues to confirm earlier findings that larger businesses take longer to close. In the smallest Main Street sectors (businesses valued at $1 million or less), the majority of companies (54% or better) sold in six months. For businesses in the lower middle market, the majority (54%-56%) closed between six months and a year.
The second quarter 2013 Market Pulse Quarterly Survey Report is available here.
About the Market Pulse Quarterly Survey Report
The International Business Brokers Association (IBBA) presents the Market Pulse Quarterly Survey Report with the support of the Pepperdine Private Capital Markets Project and the Graziadio School of Business and Management at Pepperdine University. The quarterly survey seeks to provide an accurate understanding of the market conditions for businesses being sold in the Main Street market (values up to $2 million) and lower middle market (values $2 million to $50 million). The Market Pulse Quarterly Report helps business owners and their advisors make well-informed decisions regarding selling their business and gives business brokers and intermediaries timely and accurate data to help them build and maintain a successful and sustainable business.
About VR Business Brokers
Founded in 1979, VR Business Brokers is the world’s premier business brokerage. With a combination of global strength and local experience, VR’s 30 years of successful business sales through Valued Representation, is the reason more and more business buyers and sellers demand our proven skills and resources to help them succeed in an increasingly complex market. The firm specializes in the sale of privately held companies and offers a multi-service approach to matching buyers’ interests, goals and desires with the right businesses. VR Business Brokers located in Alberta, has ranked Top 5 in growth among the other VR offices located around the world. For more information about VR Business Brokers, please call Jey Arul at 780-469-4769 or visit www.vralta.com.