CHICAGO -- Two representatives from financial advisor firm Raymond James brought some good news to attendees at the Finance breakout session on Wednesday afternoon at the NACS State of the Industry (SOI) Summit.
"Capital markets have improved dramatically since the downturn," Roger Woodman, managing director at Raymond James, said. But before everyone got too excited, he added, "but global economic concerns and issues around sequestration lead to uncertainty and volatility."
In spite of those realities, future prospects for the convenience channel look good, he said. The 2013 stock market looks great so far and mergers and acquisitions (M&A) is off to a strong start, said Woodman.
"Could this be the year we've been waiting for?" he asked attendees.
A review of both public and private convenience companies showed that 2012 was a strong year for earnings with lots of capital market activity.
Focusing on one case study, Woodman discussed three strategic scenarios available and viable for convenience store owners today: the strategic merger, equity recapitalization with a private-equity sponsor and employee stock ownership plan (ESOP). Each scenario has pros and cons that are heavily reliant on the owner's goals and objectives for maximum success, he said.
In closing, Woodman--who was joined for the session by fellow Raymond James managing director Scott Garfinkel--took a quick look at valuation. Peer group analysis comparison and sales leaseback analysis were just a couple of the tools he mentioned as good to use when focusing on the valuation of a business.
For more coverage of the Finance session and a deeper dive into the case study check out the NACS State of the Industry coverage in CSP magazine.