CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — A recent MergerNetwork survey of 1,300 small-business buyers and sellers shows that most believe that it will become harder for buyers to obtain acquisition financing in the coming months.
While 72% of survey respondents said the current market is more favorable to buyers, 81% said that they expect it to become more difficult to obtain financing in the next six months. In addition, 74% expect the selling prices of businesses to fall.
“Almost everyone who is active in the businesses-for-sale market realizes that the government bailout is going to take some time to trickle down to businesses on Main Street,” Robert Brauns, founder and president of MergerNetwork, said in a statement. “Buyers and sellers that have cash in hand, or that can come up with creative ways to structure deals, are going to come out on top in this environment.”
Some cash buyers are taking advantage of market conditions to buy businesses on favorable terms.
“There is a definite softness in the market, but deals are getting done,” says Jerry Collins, president of Trico Ventures Inc., a Boston-based intermediary with offices across in the U.S and in the U.K. “Sellers are one, more negotiable, and two, which I feel is quite important, more creative when they offer a business for sale. And, more are willing to take back paper to close the deal.”
MergerNetwork is an online marketplace for buyers and sellers of small- and middle-market businesses. It has more than 200,000 registered users and more than 14,000 business-for-sale listings.