Survey Finds Pessimistic Outlook In Business For Sale Market : Faltering economy, credit crunch will continue to impact business for sale market over next two quarters, survey indicates

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Most buyers and sellers of small businesses believe that it will become harder for buyers to obtain acquisition financing over the coming months, a recent MergerNetwork survey found.

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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

Eighty one percent of survey respondents said they expect it to become more difficult to obtain financing in the business for sale market over the next six months. In addition, 72% see the current market as more favorable to buyers and 74% expect selling prices to fall.

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," said Jerry Collins, President, 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."

"Now that most of my down payment money has evaporated I am taking a much more casual approach to my search, "said Scott Huber, who is shopping for a small convenience store, laundromat or dry cleaning business in Pennsylvania. "If the right opportunity came along, such as a low, or no, down payment, or owner financing situation, I would absolutely take advantage of it, but I think the market has a little farther to go before we see anything like that."

"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," said Robert Brauns, Founder and President of MergerNetwork. "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."

The survey was conducted between October 13, 2008, and October 26, 2008. MergerNetwork sent emails to over 45,000 of its members inviting them to participate in the survey, which was hosted on the Zoomerang.com web site. A total of 1,304 members completed the survey. Of these, 976 (75%) said they were actively looking to buy a business, 259 (20%) said they were actively looking to sell a business, and 306 (24%) said they were intermediaries (business brokers, real estate brokers, or investment bankers).

About MergerNetwork

MergerNetwork.com is an online marketplace for buyers and sellers of small and middle market businesses. It originally went online in May 1995 under the name M&A Marketplace and today has over 200,000 registered users and over 14,000 business for sale listings. MergerNetwork is owned and operated by Brauns Online Media, a privately owned company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Brauns Online Media also operates DealStream.com, an online market for buyers and sellers of commercial real estate.

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