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Can You Sell Your Company in 2009 for the Right Value? Woodbridge’s Outlook for Sellers

December 15, 2009

New Haven, Connecticut – December 15, 2008 – Despite ongoing market fluctuations and other economic turmoil, lower middle-market companies (those with $5 million to $50 million in revenue) that are performing reasonably well can be sold at an attractive price.

Woodbridge, a global mergers and acquisitions firm focused on lower-middle-market companies, has completed three sell-side transactions in the past 90 days, and continues to receive strong interest from buyers for client-companies with positive or stable performance.

Based on what Woodbridge is seeing in today’s M&A market, there are still many strategic buyers actively looking for acquisitions who will be interested in your company if it is performing well.

Strategic buyers are seeking to acquire companies in order to grow sales, expand their footprint, add to their service, manufacturing or delivery capabilities, or to increase their customer base. There are also many private equity firms with unused funds, who are focused on the lower middle-market and eager to buy performing companies. Several private equity firms have directly told our transaction professionals that the single largest problem right now is finding a flow of good companies to buy, or in which they can make a substantial growth investment.

“While M&A activity may be down, if your company is performing well compared to industry peers, you can still attract multiple offers at strong valuations,” says Bob Murphy, chief operating officer at Woodbridge. “Good performance in this market can even mean flat performance in many sectors, although positive sales and profit growth will drive higher valuations.”

According to Robert Koenig, president of Woodbridge, “Deals with transaction values of greater than $100 million are more dependent on credit markets. Large financings can run into problems in this environment. Our recent experience does not support an assumption of locked-up credit markets in the lower middle-market. While lending ratios are tighter than a year ago and some banks have curtailed lending, there are still many banks actively looking to lend in the lower middle-market.”

Business owners concerned about value should be encouraged that valuation multiples ranging from 4-6x EBITDA for companies with revenue of $5 million to $50 million, generally have not been significantly changed by current economic conditions. Valuation multiples in this revenue range tend to remain fairly stable in both strong and weak economic periods.

If your company is performing well, now could be an excellent time to explore a sale because good companies clearly stand out in today’s marketplace. Presently there are not many high-quality companies for sale. But as the economy turns, there will be a much greater supply of companies on the market, creating more competition for buyer attention and cash.

If you are a lower middle-market company considering selling, we can provide you with a no-cost, no-obligation review of your company’s readiness to sell – no matter where you are located in the country – along with a written report of suggestions as to what you might do to improve your company and position it for sale at the appropriate time.

If you are ready to sell now, we will provide you with a Free Value Assessment of your company. Contact us at 1-800-567-1119 and ask for Don Krier at extension 201.

About Woodbridge

Woodbridge, LLC., a unique marketing-driven M&A firm, was founded in 1993 to provide divestiture, acquisition and financing services to lower middle-market companies. The firm serves clients in North and South America, Europe, and Asia from eight locations across the globe. Woodbridge has completed transactions in a range of industries, serving nearly every type of enterprise and continues to enhance its innovative approach to mergers and acquisitions in order to deliver premium-quality advisory services to its clients.