Financing firm reports active M&A landscape

New Haven, Connecticut-based Woodbridge International, a mergers and acquisitions firm that lists waste as one of about 10 markets on which it concentrates, says it took part in more than 30 transactions in 2022.

“Despite the slowdown in the large-deal segment of the M&A market, we live in the lower middle market—transactions in the $5 million to $100 million range,” says Robert Koenig, Woodbridge International founder, and CEO. “This segment has continued to thrive, as it is less affected by interest rate hikes. There are always many buyers looking for transactions at this market level.”

Woodbridge says it took part in the sale of 32 businesses in 2022, “generating $619 million in liquidity for clients, contrasting industry expert predictions.” Three of those deals closed in December, causing Woodbridge to say the market was not “on hold” late in the year.

States Koenig, “All indications point to a positive forecast in 2023.”

Woodbridge says trends don’t point to specific industries as leaders in business sales in 2022. Rather, its analysts say businesses with solid operating processes that consistently perform well in up as well as down markets are primed for sale.

“We’ve sold businesses in every economy, even during the Great Recession in 2009,” says Larry Reinharz, a senior managing director at Woodbridge. “The key is, how is the underlying business performing? If the owners wish to sell and the company is performing at a level that will provide them with sufficient cash from the sale, then this is an excellent time to sell.”

A list of recent transactions on its website indicates in 2022 Woodbridge was involved in the recapitalization of Florida-based USBid Inc., a distributor of hard-to-find and end-of-life electronic and hardware components; the sale of Arizona-based dust control systems maker Aero Mist Inc.; and Arizona-based property remediation firm Rocky Mountain Restoration.

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