Survey finds small biz market may have peaked

BVWireIssue #201-1
June 5, 2019

economic data for valuations
economic forecast, industry analysis, valuation report

Seller’s market sentiment is down in all market segments except for businesses with $5 million to $50 million in enterprise value. Looking back a year, seller’s market sentiment has decreased notably for businesses valued between $1 million and $2 million, dropping six percentage points from Q1 2018 (72%) to Q1 2019 (66%). According to the “Q1 2019 Market Pulse Report,” published by the International Business Brokers Association (IBBA), M&A Source, and the Pepperdine Private Capital Market Project, seller’s market sentiment increased for businesses valued from $5 million to $50 million, rising from 77% in Q1 2018 to 81% in Q1 2019. “This is the first time in years that we’ve seen four out of five sectors report a dip in seller market sentiment. This is a sign the market may have peaked and more people are expecting a correction in the year or two ahead,” said Craig Everett, Ph.D., director of the Pepperdine Private Capital Markets Project at the Pepperdine Graziadio Business School. “Sellers should consider selling now or waiting another few years before the market will cycle back up to current conditions. To be clear, this doesn’t mean you won’t be able to sell your business over the next few years, but you probably won’t get the multiples you can get today. Any market pessimism or uncertainty will drive down value across the board.”

Extra: Some appraisers use Pepperdine surveys to estimate the cost of capital for small private businesses. See the article, “Appraiser Shuns Public Data for Private Cost of Capital” in the May 2019 issue of Business Valuation Update (purchase required). 

Please let us know if you have any comments about this article or enhancements you would like to see.