2018 Year in Review and a Look Ahead to 2019

By Trip Holmes


As we’ll soon take off for several days of family time and reflection, I sit here humbled by another great year at Sabre Capital.

This year had a lot of twists and turns, and even some stress and down moments, as every year does—that’s life itself. But the overriding emotions I feel at this particular end-of-year moment are gratitude and humility. This business of M+A, when it’s done right, is a highly collaborative enterprise.  It takes teams of folks to help sellers navigate the legal and financial waters that take them from the high seas owning a middle-market business to the gentle inlet of retirement. That means we must stay attuned to the needs of bankers, lawyers, CPAs, and financial planners to ensure clients receive the care they need before, during, and beyond the most consequential transactions of their careers.

In 2018, we had the pleasure of working with some visionary entrepreneurs who had built long track records of success in areas like commercial signage, assisted living facilities, construction service companies, professional engineering firms and much more. At year’s end, we find ourselves with a pair of transactions at letter of intent status, working through due diligence for closing in 2019. We have a record number of transactions in valuation stage right now, as more smart business owners are acting on their proven successful instincts one last time, as they cash out during what looks like the end times of one of the biggest seller’s markets in history. Every deal we have in process involves a profitable business with pre-qualified buyers with bank financing in place. If business leaders are acting on their instincts, shouldn’t you?

We also focused on improving our business operations, and for the first time in a few years, we had ourselves a corporate makeover, giving our logos and brand marks a refresh, along with a great new look for our website and collateral material. We now have the best set of resources for our clients and prospects that we’ve ever had, and we’ve doubled down on our communications platform, so that we can stay in touch with our network via our website, email blasts newsletters, and of course, social media. And you never know—next year, you might be hearing some of “Trip’s Tips” on a podcast or video near you.

Speaking of next year, 2019 should be even bigger, as we celebrate our 35th anniversary! I’ll have to think of something special to do that will honor all of those who helped me launch and sustain this business. I truly love what I do, helping people realize their retirement dreams, as well as those situations where I’m helping loved ones survive and thrive in the aftermath of a business owner’s death. 

In the coming year, we’ll be giving more equal airing to buy-side opportunities, representing folks as they look to make their first or next big business or asset acquisition. I fully expect that the several-year sell-side joyride is coming to a close, with tightening markets and the cost of credit rising. If you or someone you know is looking to buy or sell in what will certainly be a more challenging market—and I’ve seen a few of these in 35 years—we would be honored to help create a transaction that exceeds your expectations and delivers on your goals.

Thank you for helping make Sabre Capital great year after year, and allow me to wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy holiday season. We’ll see you in 2019!