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Milwaukee News

News from the Milwaukee Broker Team


  • Survey Finds Trade Wars Do Not Rattle Business Owner Confidence
  • Rising Interest Rates Have a Negative Impact on Both Buyers and Sellers

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Milwaukee, WI, May 25, 2018 – Business brokers continue to be bullish on a strong M&A market for 2018. Optimism persists despite economic and political uncertainty about U.S. tariffs, according to the Q1 2018 Market Pulse Report published by the International Business Brokers Association (IBBA), M&A Source and the Pepperdine Private Capital Market Project. On May 1, 2018 President Trump delayed steel and aluminum tariffs for key allies including the European Union, Canada and Mexico. In spite of the uncertainty over a future trade war, the majority of advisors surveyed said that tariffs will not impact the sale of businesses for both buyers (56 percent) and sellers (60 percent). In fact, 86 percent of advisors said business owner confidence is better than a year ago.

“The industry as a whole is keeping a close eye on the tariff situation, but right now we do not see the trade wars impacting buyer confidence,” said Mitch Cox, President of Transworld Business Advisors Milwaukee and member of IBBA/M&A Source. “We expect better clarity on how they will impact M&A as buyers and sellers reconcile tariffs with business costs. Many businesses are taking a ‘wait and see’ approach as current economic growth could make an increase in raw material pricing more tolerable.”

On the other hand, rising interest rates are viewed as problematic with advisors predicting a negative impact on sellers (43 percent) and buyers (68 percent). Rising interest rates may spur activity in the short term as buyers are motivated to take on debt before financing becomes more expensive. As interest rates move up, purchase prices may be subdued, despite an otherwise strong market.

“With interest rate increases looming, buyers and sellers were motivated to accelerate the deal making process early this year. We may continue to see abbreviated timeframes in order to get ahead of additional increases,” said Craig Everett, PhD, Director of the Pepperdine Private Capital Markets Project. “At the same time, a strong seller’s sentiment in the lower middle market gives business owners and advisors the leverage they need to set timetables and keep the deal process moving forward.”

Consistent with general market optimism, seller market sentiment is at an all-time high in four of five market sectors. Business in the $1 million to $2 million sector had the biggest jump in confidence, growing 14 percentage points. Despite the seller market advantage, the majority of Main Street business owners fail to plan for the sale of their business. Advisors indicated that half of businesses that went to market in the last quarter did not sell and that 88 percent of business owners in the less than $500,000 sector did not have a formal exit strategy.

About the Market Pulse Report

The Market Pulse Report compares conditions for businesses being sold on Main Street (values of $0 – $2 million) to those being sold in the Lower Middle Market (values of $2 million – $50 million). The Q1 2018 survey was completed by 271 business brokers and M&A advisors.

About International Business Brokers Association (IBBA) and M&A Source

Founded in 1983, IBBA is the largest non-profit association specifically formed to meet the needs of people and firms engaged in various aspects of business brokerage and mergers and acquisitions. The IBBA is a trade association of business brokers providing education, conferences, professional designations and networking opportunities. For more information about IBBA, visit the website at or follow the IBBA on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Founded in 1991, the M&A Source promotes professional development of merger and acquisition professionals so that they may better serve their clients’ needs and maximize public awareness of professional intermediary services available for middle market merger and acquisition transactions. For more information about the M&A Source visit, or follow the M&A Source on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

About Pepperdine University Graziadio Business School

Anchored in the core values of integrity and innovation, the Pepperdine Graziadio Business School challenges individuals to think boldly and drive meaningful change that positively impacts their organizations and communities. With an entrepreneurial spirit, the Graziadio School advances experiential learning in small classes that deepen connections and stimulate critical thinking. Through our wide continuum of MBA, MS and executive degree programs offered across six California campuses, Graziadio faculty inspire full-time students and working professionals to realize their greatest potential as values-centered, Best for the World Leaders.

About Transworld Business Advisors Milwaukee

Transworld Business Advisors is the world leader in the marketing and sale of businesses, franchises and commercial real estate. Transworld provides professional services to privately held businesses that successfully bring buyers and sellers together. From business brokerage to mergers and acquisitions, they are the business sales specialists.

Transworld Business Advisors Milwaukee is owned by Mitch Cox and his wife, Stephanie.  They are fully licensed as Wisconsin real estate professionals and are members in good standing with the International Business Brokers Association (IBBA). The partners are experienced professional Intermediaries with a wealth of experience across many Industries. For more information about Transworld Business Advisors Milwaukee visit or follow on Facebook and LinkedIn.


Mitch Cox CBI, CPA
President, Transworld Business Adv
Member IBBA
Learn more at the TBA Milwaukee website



Check out the interview with Mitch Cox as he recently shared his advice for selling your business in a Broker Spotlight for



Mitch and Stephanie Cox opened Transworld Business Advisors Milwaukee bringing Transworld's expertise and their own extensive experience to the Milwuakee business community.

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Mitchel and Stephanie Cox are providing business brokerage services with Transworld Business Advisors of Milwaukee, located at 500 West Silver Spring Drive, Suite 208. With the company Entrepreneur Magazine named in 2015 as one of the fastest-growing in North America and as one of America’s top global businesses, Mitchel and Stephanie help match motivated buyers and sellers, backed by decades of executive business experience in Fortune 500 companies.

With over 25 years of experience as a senior executive leading business units in four Fortune 500 companies, including roles as a vice president of sales and marketing and as a CFO, Mitchel Cox is a licensed CPA. Stephanie Cox, whose background includes serving as a senior business analyst for PepsiCo and most recently as a financial consultant, brings her own business acumen to the table. Together, the husband and wife searched for a business opportunity that would allow them to leverage their experience as owners of their own company. Their search brought them to Transworld Business Advisors.

“We looked at multiple businesses and after dealing with business brokers of our own, we became more interested in the transaction side of the job and helping entrepreneurs succeed,” said Mitchel Cox. “With our combined decades of experience, Stephanie and I were confident that we could serve Milwaukee entrepreneurs with distinction. Backed by Transworld’s reputation, we knew we could hit the ground running.”

Taking advantage of Transworld’s online marketplace, Mitchel and Stephanie ease the process of selling businesses, buying businesses, franchising, mergers and acquisitions. This, said Mitchel Cox, provides the couple with a tremendous amount of satisfaction.

“Waking up every day with the knowledge that we’re helping members in our community live out their dreams is incredibly rewarding,” Mitchel Cox said. “Selling or acquiring a new business can be frustrating if done alone, but with Transworld we take the pain out of the process. With Transworld, clients can be confident that they’ll receive professional attention, backed by decades of experience.”