After a decade that saw business-sellers flourishing, the economic meltdown of 2008 ushered in a precipitous drop in business sales, mergers and acquisitions.
In fact, 2008 was the worst year in recent times, according to Bryan Adams of FactSet Research Systems Inc, New York. “Clearly, the second half of 2008 stands out as the bottom, when the market essentially collapsed. Now, although the market is still finding its footing, it does appear that it is moving in a positive direction,” he explains.
Although many veteran business brokers suggest that the worst may be in the past, not everyone agrees. Business broker Herman Petrecca of Business Connection Plus in Warminster, Pennsylvania, specializes in small-business sales and says that he is continuing to make sales, but many of them are buy-and-flips. “There are buyers out there, but many are looking to buy at distressed prices so that they can turn around and re-sell the businesses,” he explains.