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How Will the Year of COVID-19 Affect the Sale of My Manufacturing Company?

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⏱ Reading Time: 3 minutes

As we round out the first quarter of 2021, the most frequently asked question we’re getting from business owners is “How will the year of COVID-19 affect the sale of my manufacturing company in this financial downturn.”

The News Might Be Better Than You’d Expect

Many manufacturing companies had a very tough 2020. Even if they remained open, sometimes their customers were shut down or working scaled back shifts. Owners who thought they would retire this year are worried about how quality buyers will view a downturn in their financials during 2020.

How Buyers Are Viewing Acquisition Opportunities and a Financial Downturn

As a company that sells nationally and exclusively in the manufacturing sectors, my firm has unique insight into how quality buyers are viewing acquisition opportunities in which the target company had a 2020 financial downturn. What we’re finding is that if a buyer can get comfortable with answers to the following questions, the downturn may have little or no effect.

  • Is the downturn an anomaly that is likely to not repeat itself?
  • Is the target company returning to prior levels as we round out Q1 2021?

If the answer to both questions is affirmative, it’s entirely possible that the COVID downturn will not affect the valuation. The caveat to this is that a company must measure well in other factors affecting value. To learn more about 15 things that affect value, take a look at my article on business valuation HERE.

Buyers will always look at these 15 factors, whether we’re following a pandemic year or not. Companies that rank well in all these categories will always sell at higher prices than those who don’t.

Here’s The Bottom Line

So, the bottom line is this – if the company fundamentals are strong and it is returning to prior financial levels, 2020 will have minimal weight in the valuation.

Of course, there are some buyers who will always try to take advantage and will base their offers solely on one year. But that’s why you work with an M&A professional who will vet the buyers and turn away those who are trying to take advantage.

Manufacturing Businesses Are in Demand

Not all pandemic-related effects on manufacturing M&A were bad. Manufacturing was deemed critical and essential. Thus, manufacturers were open while other sectors were closed. As a result, private equities not previously invested in manufacturing are seeking acquisitions in this area. Everyone right now wants a COVID-proof business to invest in and manufacturing fits the bill. The increased competition is driving prices upward. Buyers with strong balance sheets are moving quickly, understanding that Sellers are concerned over the impending capital gains tax issues. We’ve had buyers recently close with all cash to avoid the delays of bank financing.

Conclusion

If you’ve been worried about your retirement because you think the Manufacturing M&A market might be bad or buyers may take unfair advantage of a 2020 downturn and a dip in your numbers, your fears may be unfounded. Many business owners who want to cash out and retire are worried they won’t be able to do that for years because of Covid-19. Nothing could be further from the truth. Investors with capital are always looking for opportunities, no matter what is happening in the market. If you want to be sure, click here to schedule a call with us. You’ll be glad you did!

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About Frances Brunelle

Frances Brunelle is the founder of Accelerated Manufacturing Brokers, Inc., which specializes in the sale of lower middle-market manufacturing companies nationally. Fran and her team help to ensure the continuity of U.S. Manufacturing by transitioning ownership to the next generation of entrepreneurs. Recently Fran was named to 2020 Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A (Mergers & Acquisitions). Fran is also the host of the WAM (Women and Manufacturing) podcast, a Jacket Media production. Fran writes on topics that help manufacturing business owners prepare their companies for sale and navigate the sale process to ensure a positive financial result in support of their retirement.

1 Comment

  1. […] As we rounded out the first quarter of 2021 I opined on the state of the market, which you can read HERE. Now there’s third-party evidence on the state of Manufacturing M&A in 2021 with the Market […]

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