WCF Advisors Blog

Deal Activity Continues to Be Robust — When Will the Slow-Down Hit?

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Mar 29, 2019
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Market Updates
Several things have driven deal flow and valuations for the last several years — namely, demographics, available capital, a favorable lending environment and generally favorable economic conditions. The low unemployment rate is also cited by the Market Pulse Fourth Quarter 2018 report as fueling high demand by buyers. However, many sources are forecasting a slowdown in the future. The question continues to be not if, but when the slowdown will occur. Market Pulse reports 83% of the...

The Clock is Ticking

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Jan 01, 2019
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Market Updates
There is continued evidence multiples have plateaued. For the third quarter of 2018, valuations averaged 7.3x EBITDA, which is a reduction from the second quarter 2018 average multiple of 7.4x and the peak multiple of 8.0x achieved in the fourth quarter of 2017. "The M&A market is driven by corporate performance, availability of debt and general economic strength." On a positive note, deal activity increased over Q2 and reversed a downward trend from the Q4 2017 peak. During the third...

Contrary to Market Feel, Deal Numbers Are Down, But Deal Dollars Are Up

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Sep 28, 2018
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Market Updates
Please be aware: More recent data has been published since the time of this post. To see current market trends, check out the most recent issues of Market Updates. Valuations for the quarter averaged 7.4 times adjusted EBITDA, though well above the first quarter of 2018, but below the third and fourth quarters of 2017. Many believe this is due to facts and circumstances concerning the transactions and not the trend of the market. The 47 completed deals in the GF Data® cohort represent a drop...

Abundant Debt and Robust Valuations Characterize First Quarter

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Jun 27, 2018
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Market Updates
Please be aware: More recent data has been published since the time of this post. To see current market trends, check out the most recent issues of Market Updates. With a strong 2017 in the rearview mirror, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity in the first quarter continued last year’s themes of high valuations and strong use of debt. According to GF Data®, middle-market deal valuations and use of debt remain robust, with an average TEV/EBITDA multiple of 6.9x and an average...

Looking Back, Looking Forward, Looking Up!

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Mar 12, 2018
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Market Updates
Please be aware: More recent data has been published since the time of this post. To see current market trends, check out the most recent issues of Market Updates. M&A activity finished strong in 2017, despite some deals choosing a January close for tax purposes, which potentially underinflates the 2017 volume and buoys January 2018 volume. Factset reports a total 2017 deal volume of 11,673 deals worth $1.7 trillion. January deal volume increased, totaling 910 deals versus 819 in December....

Let the Good Times Roll

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Jan 11, 2018
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Market Updates
Please be aware: More recent data has been published since the time of this post. To see current market trends, check out the most recent issues of Market Updates.   To say the third quarter was strong would be an understatement. With valuations and leverage levels at nearly all-time highs, it is clearly a seller’s market in the middle and lower-middle markets. In fact, according to Pitchbook, valuations reached their highest level on record during the quarter. These observations beg...

How to Monetize Your Business Without a Complete Sale

Nov 08, 2017
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Market Insights
Please be aware: More recent data has been published since the time of this post. To see current market trends, check out the most recent issues of Market Updates. Most business owners understand that an exit strategy should include maximizing their return on investment (ROI). Traditionally, business owners sought out two strategies to do this: Developing a dividend stream (annual cash flow) that pays increasing amounts each year as the business grows Selling 100% of the business and reaping...

What’s Your Company Worth? An Introduction to Advanced Planning for Business Owners

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Oct 05, 2017
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Market Insights
Please be aware: More recent data has been published since the time of this post. To see current market trends, check out the most recent issues of Market Updates. For many owners of closely held businesses, their business is their retirement plan — understandably, saving for retirement can often take a backseat to investing more capital in the business, and the proverbial retirement-planning can gets kicked further down the road. Though an eventual sale of their business interest may...

Strategic Buyers Pay up for Opportunities

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Sep 21, 2017
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Market Updates
Please be aware: More recent data has been published since the time of this post. To see current market trends, check out the most recent issues of Market Updates. The M&A market is somewhat a tale of two markets, large and small. While the middle market ($50M to $500M in deal value) has remained relatively stable, mega deals ($500M in deal value and above) have dominated in terms of volume and value. The number and value of mega deals have increased year over year in 2017, while middle...

Crowdfunding for Capital? Know the Rules.

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Aug 25, 2017
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Market Insights
Please be aware: More recent data has been published since the time of this post. To see current market trends, check out the most recent issues of Market Updates. Consider the traditional approach to securing business financing: Armed with your valuable idea, a sound business plan, and some marketing research, you strive to get an audience with some wealthy investors, perhaps angel funds, a venture capital firm, and a few investment banks. You spend a great deal of time and effort pitching to...

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