Resource Library

Private Equity Groups

If you are a Private Equity Group (PEG) looking to invest in businesses valued between $1-25 million, make a commitment to participate in The M&A Source Dealmakers Expo. The M&A Source Expo attracts over 150 experienced merger and acquisition professionals who are eager to discuss business opportunities with you.

Education and Certification

To learn more about M&A Source certification, online courses and webinars, please visit the Education and Certification pages



Terms that are applied within the Lower Middle Market to facilitate the transfer of business interests may not be familiar to non-M&A practitioners.

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Market Pulse Report

The M&A Source and IBBA, along with Pepperdine Private Capital Markets Project publish a quarterly report on the current business brokerage environment. M&A advisors are asked to complete a survey, answering questions about recent closings and what is in the pipeline, and the information is compiled into a report that allows M&A advisors to keep a finger on the pulse of the marketplace.

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Businesses for Sale

To search for middle market opportunities posted by the members of the M&A Source, click here.

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Member Directory

Are you looking for an M&A advisor to handle the acquisition or sale of a business in the middle market? Search our member directory to find the experienced and qualified M&A advisor that is right for you.

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Monthly Newsletter

The Bridge, M&A Source’s monthly newsletter, publishes timely articles on a variety of topics. Past Bridge articles can be found by topic below on this page.

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Thinking About Selling Your Company? Focus on Value, Not Price Much of our value as M&A advisors is found in redirecting your focus, from what your business is worth today, to what it could be worth when it is ultimately ready to sell. When business owners decide to put their company on the market, it’s natural for them to wonder What is my business worth? and What should be my asking price? Those are fair questions – but consider the possibility that the first is premature, and the second is irrelevant. If that sounds like heresy, let’s try to put both responses in perspective. The Danger of an Asking Price. Tackling the second question first, […]
What Impact Will Inflation Have on Your Client’s Company Financial Statements? With inflation at its highest level in 40 years, business owners are reasonably concerned about how their businesses will be impacted. Knowing the effects inflation can have on the bottom line of a company can be crucial in preparing your clients for the sale of their business. The Consumer Price Index (CPI), which looks at shelter, food, clothing, transportation, medical, dental, medication and similar goods and services that people need for living on a daily basis has rapidly increased by 8.3%, according to the most recent figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Similarly, the producer price index. which gauges […]
Preparing Owners for the Selling Process Selling ownership in a privately held middle market business is hard; and without the owner’s 100% commitment, transactions rarely make it across the finish line. The selling process is time-consuming. It is disruptive. Confidentiality is at risk. Owners’ emotions often swing wildly in many directions – from fearful, to joyful, to angry, to hopeful, to feelings never experienced before – and all these may occur in a single conference call. Negotiations can be offensive. Tempers frequently flare. Due diligence is invasive and interminably long. Legal and other professional fees never seem to end. These and many other destabilizing elements occur almost […]
How three private equity firms valued the same company How three private equity firms valued the same company By Scott Bushkie As part of our annual State of the Market M&A conference, held virtually this winter, we invited three private equity (PE) firms to review and submit an offer on a hypothetical company. They revealed their offers at the conference, and we held a panel discussion on why they valued the company the way they did. We keep the invited PE firms confidential. They don’t know who else will be submitting “offers,” so there’s no collusion or comparing notes ahead of time. Because they’re doing this as a public exercise, […]

More Buying & Selling Resources

Making the Transition from Business Brokerage to M&A Many M&A Source members join the organization after being business brokers. The desire to move upmarket and work on bigger deals is natural and it happens regularly. M&A advisors bridge the gap between small businesses and large corporations, focusing on the lower middle market. I believe that the major factor that determines whether a deal is business brokerage or M&A depends on who is the most logical, highest value buyer. If it is an industry buyer or a PEG, it is an M&A deal. After selling my business in 2002 I went back to graduate school for an MBA and started […]
Economic Buoyancy Your business has no doubt been under a lot of economic pressure over the last 15 months or so. That pressure may stem from too much or too little demand for your products or services. A lot of either type of pressure can make it very tempting to sell your business now, but selling your business under economic pressure is ill-advised unless you absolutely have no choice. Economic buoyancy provides the best return on the investment of your hard work, imagination, dedication, and, of course, capital. Economic pressure is more than just the relative health of the economy, as other factors […]

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Cannabis Currently – The Challenges, Correction and Consolidation Introduction and Background: The cannabis industry has arguably been one of the most talked about, but turbulent and testing markets in recent times. Despite a scattering of activity throughout the rest of the world, particularly in Germany and Uruguay — Canada and the U.S. are where the bulk of the business buzz has been centered.   Cannabis in Current United States: Divided opinions, politics and unknown health and societal implications have created much debate as to whether the drug should remain classified as a Schedule I Controlled Substance. According to Business Insider, as of June 2019, just 11 states and Washington, […]
The Arranged Marriage Even at “hello” I could feel the tension. Four of them, one of me. I was feeling some heat as they stared at me, looking for answers. There were two representatives from each company. Their desire to merge was borne from a conversation between the two owners at a wedding three months earlier. It was fitting that they had this conversation at a wedding, because that’s the kind of relationship they were now talking about structuring. Or maybe best to call it an arranged marriage. The two companies were tired of beating each other up, bidding for the best employees, and […]
Virtual Data Room outsmarts Seller saving Buyer $1.3 million and the Deal Virtual Data Room outsmarts Seller saving Buyer $1.3 million and the Deal By D.M. (Doug) Robbins FCBI, M&AMI, CM&AA, MCBC, CSBA, CMEA   (GRIMSBY, ON.  CANADA)  Virtual Data Rooms, also known as deal vaults are being utilized by many M&A Advisors for convenience and efficiency. The encryption and secure communications for uploading and downloading electronic documents with sensitive information is a key consideration of all virtual data room users. Confidentiality is especially a concern of Sellers and Buyers during the exchange of information for due diligence and for the communication of purchase documents. Since 2003, US Healthcare professionals have been using […]
Aon Representations and Warranties Case Study Background Representations and Warranties insurance (“R&W insurance”) helps secure investments and enhance returns. Concerns about known and unknown risks can prevent a deal from closing or leave buyers with unwanted liabilities, placing both sellers and buyers at risk of not realizing their desired goals. The use of this insurance can protect buyers from losses resulting from a breach of the seller’s or target company’s representations in a purchase agreement, thereby eliminating the need for a robust indemnity. It also allows sellers to walk away cleanly from a deal. Representations and Warranties insurance is a proven tool that can allow deal professionals […]
Podcast: Building a Profitable Culture-Focused Business, an Interview with Jill Nelson Takeaway: The customer experience is a vital part of the success of your business, so figuring out how to engage your employees to work the business like you would is important. About the Host Ryan is an entrepreneur, podcast host of the show Life After Business and the co-owner of Solidity Financial. Having personally experienced the hazards of selling a business, he joined up with his friend Brandon Wood to educate others on the process. Through their business (Solidity Financial), they provide a platform for entrepreneurs called Growth and Exit Planning that helps in exit planning, value building and financial management. About the Guest A driven entrepreneur […]
Where the Past and the Future Collide: Internal versus Tax Depreciation Where the Past and the Future Collide: Internal versus Tax Depreciation In previous articles, I have stated that all business valuations are forward looking. I still believe this is true. I also discussed the potential impact that the bonus depreciation provision of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act can have on a business valuation by providing real tax dollar savings. Within these two topics lies a possible valuation minefield that can be easily overlooked. What happens if you are a new minority interest investor in a Company and you miss out on a big year of bonus depreciation? If the Company is a C […]

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ReCap: Maximizing Your Conference + Deal Market ROI In an effort to maximize your ROI at the conference in San Diego, here are the key points mentioned in a recent webinar.  You can view the webinar here. EDUCATION Take as many classes and workshops as possible.  This is your opportunity to learn and interact with the experts in M&A, Law, Financing, etc.  Additional classes can be added to your registration up to the conference. LEADERSHIP MEETING The leadership meeting on Tuesday morning from 7-8:30 am is your opportunity to meet the leaders and committee members of the M&A Source.  The meeting is open to all members, and you are encouraged […]
Moving On Up: Leveraging Your M&A Source Membership to Get Bigger Deals In an earlier issue of The Bridge, we introduced a new series, Moving on Up. Many of the newer members of the M&A Source found it helpful as they move upmarket in their deal making. In this issue, we address strategies to leverage your M&A Source membership to establish your expertise and source the “bigger” transactions. Three strategies we discuss in this article are: using the M&A brand for the promotion of your firm, establishing yourself an M&A expert within your market, and leveraging the M&A Source’s expansive network of industry veterans to make you a more effective deal maker. Promotion […]
Moving on Up: Developing and Managing Your M&A Prospects (For ongoing cash flow continuity) One of the most effective business development strategies for an M&A advisor is the development and management of a good prospecting plan. Neil Thomson, an M&A Source member, and owner of Exit This Way Consulting, specializes in exit planning, appraisals, and business sales in Western Canada since 2009. He shares his plan with fellow members to help them build and grow a sustainable advisory company in the lower mid-market. Developing – Turning Suspects into Prospects Want to move your brokerage business model upmarket with deals that are $2,000,000 plus Enterprise Value (EV) or more? A great strategy is to specialize in […]
4 Simple Ways M&A Firms Sign Up More Clients By Gabe Galvez Co-Founder of CAPTARGET, LLC Founder/CEO of Merger Labs LLC What if I told you that you could easily catch up with your competition by making just a few small changes to your M&A firm? Well, that is exactly what we are going to talk about in this article. Below are four simple, but often overlooked hacks that can make your firm more attractive to potential clients and help you leave the competition behind. #1 Focus On a Single Vertical or Geography Only Seems counter intuitive right? After all, the more diverse your service and market are the more […]
An Owner’s Strategy for a Down Economy: Heads, You Win; Tails, You Don’t Lose By Gary W. Ampulski, PhD Managing Partner of MidwestGenesis There is a saying that a rising tide lifts all boats. But the opposite is also true. As the skipper of a business, an owner needs to know when a tide comes in and when it recedes in order to plot a course to realize maximum business value. Just as there is a repeating nature to the tides, the economy also runs in cycles. Its ebb and flow may not be as predictable as the moon’s gravitational force on our oceans but they are nevertheless still cyclical and their periods can have […]
Age Specific Target Marketing By Charles Milam, CBI, M&AMI Improve the return-on-investment for your marketing campaigns Every business will eventually change ownership and the decision to sell a company can either be viewed by the owner as the most agonizing event or the most liberating. Some owners are ill prepared for a business transition and are caught off guard by deteriorating health, unanticipated financial calamities, divorce, or personal stress. These owners are forced to sell without proper planning and often receive less than optimal remuneration for their company. Other owners recognize that in order to maximize the business value, similar strategic planning done during the […]

More Marketing Resources

Getting Ready for Your First M&A Source Deal Market As the Fall begins and vacations become a far-off memory, you may be getting that back to school feeling about preparing for your first Deal Market at the M&A Source Conference this November. As Director of Business Development at a private equity fund, I get the opportunity to speak with a lot of advisors and have attended a few Deal Markets over the years. With that experience, I thought it would be helpful to put together a few notes from the private equity perspective that could help you as you prepare for the Deal Market. Some of you may be thinking […]
A Private Equity Perspective on Budget Planning A Private Equity Perspective on Budget Planning It’s time for the next stage of business ownership: Bringing on an investment partner. Finding the right fit is an inexact science – some combination of due diligence, reference checks, and “gut feel.” These ten questions can help sellers find the right match for their personality, business style, and future goals. Read the article: A Private Equity Perspective On Budget Planning_ INSIGHTS from Prospect Partners
Search Funds: Creating A Whole New Generation of Entrepreneurs By Heather Endresen Takeaway: New entrepreneurs are flocking to the previously obscure search fund model in droves. No generation has had the impact on small business creation that the baby boomers have had over the past 50 years. As they look to retire, a new model of entrepreneurship is emerging and these new entrepreneurs are flocking to the previously obscure search fund model in droves. To paint you a picture of the current small business landscape, during 2017, 36% of small business owners—those with $100,000 to $10 million in sales—said they plan to transition the ownership of their company in the next five […]
Taking a Second Look: How My View of Search Funds Changed By Kevin Dempsey, CBI, CMEA Takeaway: Several reasons you may want to (re)consider working with a Search Fund: Over the past five years we have been getting more calls from a special set of buyers known as Search Funds. About three years ago, after working very hard through due diligence and MBA level discovery, and three unsuccessful deals, we gave up on Search Funds as a buyer source. The experience of working with graduate students, their alma mater programs, the MBA-entrepreneur/owner was very disappointing. As you might imagine, our Sellers were also very disappointed by the experience and even projected their frustration on me. After three […]

More Resources for PEGs and Investors