As the President & CEO of IBA, the Pacific Northwest’s oldest business brokerage firm, I am happy to report that the summer and early autumn of 2021 have been as robust a period of mergers & acquisitions activity, as I have experienced in my nearly thirty years as a professional intermediary facilitating the sale of privately held companies and family businesses. I credit four factors for the strong activity:
- Buyer confidence is strong related to the future of the regional economy with diminishing risk associated with COVID-19 due to the prevalence of vaccinated and natural immunity in the population coupled by the strong corporate pillars of publicly traded companies (Microsoft, Amazon, Boeing, Paccar, Costco, Starbucks, Nike, etc.) providing employment and injecting capital into the community.
- Wonderful federal loan programs and cheap money available to support acquisitions.
- A population of Baby Boomers wanting to retire selling mature, profitable companies.
- The experience, knowledge, and skill of the IBA team with their ability to get parties to “Yes” and deals closed in environments of full disclosure and confidentiality while employing best practices.
The following is an overview of some of the industries served and businesses sold by IBA in the second half of 2021:
Caring Hearts Agency – This was a fascinating deal involving a home health care provider specializing in medical residence support services for individuals suffering from illness attributed to government employment in the energy sector. The company worked in collaboration with the Federal Department of Labor and its unique Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICP). IBA has another sale in escrow currently in the medical space involving a business that sells medical equipment to a menu of domestic & international customers.
Montessori Schools of Snohomish County – A transaction demonstrating IBA’s comprehensive ability to facilitate both the sale of a business and real estate for a client. This transaction involved a 40,000 square foot campus with five buildings that were home to a student population of between 125 – 150 and a staff of almost 20 educational professionals. The sale was complicated by the fact the company operated as a non profit organization requiring a high level of knowledge, experience, & skill on transaction documentation and seeking license transfer approval.
Diversified Mechanical & Washington Generators – The professional sale of heating, air conditioning, electrical, and plumbing companies has been an area of expertise and performance for IBA for multiple decades. Both of these companies are considered market leaders and involved highly respected clients in their respective industries. The Washington Generators transaction also included real estate in the Kent Valley.
Integrity Networks – A highly sought after public & private sector contractor with membership in eight unions in four states, this company with revenues of approximately $30 million annually provides project management, design, installation, and maintenance service for network, security, and audio-visual systems for a spectrum of clients ranging from state & local government entities to healthcare & senior assisted senior living providers to educational institutions to data centers, and the federal government including the military and Department of Defense domestically and internationally. This was the first transaction I have personally completed that required CFIUS (https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/international/the-committee-on-foreign-investment-in-the-united-states-cfius) approval of the buyer.
Patio Cover People – This company is one of the dominant providers of custom patio covers and auxiliary rooms that provide protection from the elements in the Portland metropolitan area. A growing niche in home improvement, the company has experienced seven figure growth in revenue in each of the last three years. As a resource and member in the Master Builders Association, IBA remains active in this space with multiple other projects in various stages of the sale process including a market leading kitchen & bath remodel contractor, a roofing contractor that will exceed $20 million in revenue in 2021, and a company with a large fleet of dump trucks moving materials.
Stetner Auto Body – IBA has been commonly recognized as a market leader in the sale of automotive and transportation industry companies in Washington and Oregon since leaded gas was the dominant fuel at the gas station. We continue to be very active in this space, having recently completed the sale of one of Seattle’s premier collision repair businesses in a merger into a large multiple location player in the space and multiple other transactions involving industry companies in escrow pending sale. IBA also recently brought to market a large-scale auto repair center with real estate that provides fuel, tires, auto repair services, and several carwash options to their customer base on the I-5 corridor.
Ballard Consignment & Ducky’s – Q3 2021 saw a strong return to M&A activity in the retail sector with the sale of both the Emerald City’s favorite office furniture dealership and the three destination locations in a chain including Ballard Consignment, Everett Consignment & The Furniture Guy. Current projects in the retail space include an E-commerce business transaction that should complete this month, sporting goods & apparel merchants, a natural remedy & holistic health business, and a company selling construction equipment.
Gorge Analytical – IBA is rapidly emerging as the “go to” business brokerage firm in the marijuana industry in the Pacific Northwest based on our knowledge of market conditions and licensing requirements. We are currently working on sales of dispensaries, producer processors, and farms. Our most recent completed transaction in this space was a testing lab which assessed agricultural product prior to it being approved for human consumption. This sale also could be classified under our market leading ability to sell sophisticated, service companies.
Mail Clinic Gilman – IBA is unique in the business brokerage community in that we have experienced, knowledgeable, highly skilled, professional intermediaries on staff with the ability to facilitate deals with values of six, seven, and eight figures. We continue to represent small businesses in the Pacific Northwest with superior customer service with sales prices of less than a million dollars because we believe that owners of these businesses deserve quality representation in the sale of their valued, community enterprises and that there is a deep, qualified group of parties looking to acquire these companies. The sale of the private postal center, Mail Clinic Gilman, is an example of one of our recent transactions in this space.
IBA, unfortunately, has not completed the sale of a manufacturing company in the last couple of months, but it was not due to lack of projects or activity in the marketplace. IBA presently has multiple companies in escrow pending sale in Q4 in this economy sector ranging from a highly regarded winery to a consumer product brand with a direct to market business model that has a loyal, customer base of repeat customers and brand advocates. New to market companies in the manufacturing sector include a company that upfits police & fire vehicles, a fabricator of windows, and a specialized metal products manufacturer in Oregon.
The above are only ten of the industries served by IBA as a business brokerage firm, a complete list of the business sectors served can be found on this page of our website (https://ibainc.com/industries-served/). Not covered in this brief include the activities of our service business team which is in the process of selling a multiple location coin laundromat, a yoga studio, and a human resources private investigation firm which researches situations of gender, racial, or agism discrimination at publicly traded companies in the region or our highly respected hospitality division that is working on sales of a spectrum of businesses from bakeries to diners, many including real estate.
IBA recognizes that we are not the only option for quality business brokerage services in the Pacific Northwest. However, we believe any entrepreneur interested in selling a privately held company or family business would be foolish not to include us in their interview process when selecting a professional intermediary, just as it would be unwise for a buyer looking for an acquisition not to include IBA’s exclusive inventory in their opportunity review process. All information provided to IBA is always held in strict confidence. On the seller side, 100% of our fees are payable on performance when we complete the project.
IBA, the Pacific Northwest’s premier business brokerage firm since 1975, is available as an information resource to the media, business brokerage, mergers & acquisitions, and real estate communities on subjects relevant to the purchase & sale of privately held companies and family owned businesses. IBA is recognized as one of the best business brokerage firms in the nation based on its long track record of successfully negotiating “win-win” business sale transactions in environments of full disclosure employing “best practices”.