Latest Report on the Business-for-Sale Marketplace Suggests Continued Market Improvement

An eight percent year-over-year increase in closed business-for-sale transactions in Q2 2011 suggests a latent supply of profitable businesses coming to the market.

San Francisco, CA – July 1, 2011 —, the Internet’s largest marketplace for buying or selling a small business, today released its Second Quarter 2011 Insight Report on business succession trends. The report, which aggregates business-for-sale transaction data provided by participating business brokers, shows continued improvement in business succession activity, as closed transactions increased eight percent from 1,106 in Q2 of 2010 to 1,198 in Q2 of 2011.

“We’ve been anticipating an upward trend in the business-for-sale market as more profitable businesses start to become available for sale,” said Mike Handelsman, Group General Manager, and “This trend has begun to show in recent quarters and the Q2 results accelerate the trend. As capital availability continues to gradually improve we expect the market to continue to strengthen throughout the remainder of the year.”

Q2 2011 Report_National_ClosedSmallBusinessTransactions

The number of closed transactions reported in Q2 2011 is the most has seen since Q4 of 2008. According to Handelsman, the increase is likely a result of latent sellers who were waiting for improvements in business performance.

“In tough economic times, many sellers are 100% focused on survival and performance improvement,” said Handelsman. “But now their efforts have begun to pay off and their businesses are becoming profitable again. As such, many are finally ready to put their business on the market.”

Slight Decrease in Financials Suggest Smaller Businesses Selling

While closed transactions showed a healthy increase in Q2 of 2011, median revenue of the businesses sold decreased by about 6%. In Q2 of last year, median revenue was reported at $361,274, while this year it was reported at $340,000. However, Handelsman notes that this decrease suggests that smaller businesses are being sold, not that the health of businesses is decreasing.

2011Q2 Report National Key Financials Sold Small Businesses

“While median revenue has decreased slightly, median cash flow and median sale price figures have both remained virtually flat,” Handelsman explains. “So, smaller, profitable businesses are likely being sold and helping to drive the increase in closed transactions.”

Capital Availability Continues to Slowly Improve

While it is still a tight capital market, the lending environment does seem to be improving. Moreover, more sellers are recognizing the key role that seller financing can play in the current market to help them differentiate their business for sale and close a transaction. The combination of these factors is having a positive impact on overall transaction volume.

“Businesses and business buyers are only now getting to the point where they can borrow money,” Handelsman said. “We still expect it will take time for transactions to reach pre-recession levels, but headway is being made.”

2011Q2 National Sale Vs Asking Prices

About the Insight Report is the Internet’s largest marketplace for buying or selling a small business. The company releases its Insight Report on a quarterly basis, reporting changes in closed transaction rates, valuation multiples and other economic indicators for the small business transaction market. Closed transactions are reported to by business brokers nationwide.

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