Quarter Three 2018 Market Insight Report

Quarter Three 2018 Market Insight Report

The Third Quarter of 2018 sheds light on the persistent record breaking highs in the small business mergers & acquisitions industry. Sellers continue to reap a high return on financially sound businesses, while buyers enjoy well established acquisitions. The larger M&A market continues to slow, especially given the politically charged landscape.


Introduction. Transworld continues to notice an uptick in baby boomers listing businesses for sale, however the onslaught has not yet shown any signs of flooding the market. This quarter a record breaking 2,685 business sales were reported by Biz Buy Sell across the US, bringing the year to date total up to 8,068. This number is only 18.7% shy of surpassing 2017’s full year of sales at 9,924.


Taking a step back from the small business M&A market, this quarter marks the ten year anniversary of the start of the Great Recession, which left a lasting impression on the business landscape and society as a whole. Q3 continued to see muted activity on the larger M&A scene, according to research completed by MergerMarket. This low activity, in conjunction with the recession’s anniversary, point to the start of an economic cycle reset. At $1.1T and 4,100 transactions, the US M&A reached its second-highest total by both deal value and count for the first three quarters of 2018, however this volume is still down by 267 transactions over the same period. In the larger M&A market, deal makers are concerned with choosing between industry consolidation and the uncertainty of a politically charged landscape (tariffs, trade wars).



General U.S. Market Highlights. The following are key metrics concerning the U.S. business sale market in quarter three of 2018:


  • 2,685 businesses were sold in Q3 2018, a slight decrease from the 2,705 businesses sold in Q2 2018, as reported by Biz Buy Sell, but still 96 businesses more than in Q3 2017.
  • The sale to asking price ratio ticked up 1 point to 93%, highlighting the well balanced market.
  • These US market highlights point to a strong close to 2018, and a good start for the 2019 small business M&A market.

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If you have questions about our quarterly market insight report or are thinking about listing your business for sale to take advantage of this great market, we invite you to schedule a complimentary consultation today.

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Rachael Holstein has been the Marketing Manager for Transworld - Rocky Mountain since 2016. Her work experience has been largely focused on business development and marketing in business brokerage, finance, architecture, property management, and information technology. A long time resident of Cleveland, Ohio, she attained her undergrad from John Carroll University and her Master’s Degree from Cleveland State University. In 2013, she relocated to Denver with her husband, Joe, and her furry companions to explore the mile high lifestyle!


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