Last week Tom Fochtman, Ciebass CEO, attended the Association of Corporate Growth’s 2017 Rocky Mountain Corporate Growth Conference and met with many private equity firms.

Here is a collection of some of his thoughts, what he heard, saw and felt meeting with this impressive global community for middle market M&A deal makers and business leaders:

  • Private equity deal makers have plenty of capital to invest, but companies with a strong track record of success are harder to find. This is what is driving them to look into the lawn & landscape industry.
  • Competition for deals is driving up the multiples to record high levels.
  • Limited partners wonder if private equity firms can continue to deliver attractive risk-adjusted returns. Likewise, private equity firms and intermediaries wonder how to justify paying high valuations.
  • Because of high multiples, business executives need to grow value without the rising tide of a strong economy (many looking for the Trump administration for help here)
  • Deal makers know that our current low growth environment is not some new phenomenon, but rather it’s the way things have been for most advanced nations for longer than ever before in history. There is starting to be some doubt that the current Trump administration can pull us out of the low-growth environment given the unsuccessful introduction of the American Health Care Act.
  • Now is the time to sell if you have a strong track record of success in the lawn and landscape industry. I have had more than 10 meetings with PE firms and interest is at an all-time high.

More coming from the front lines.