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Sales of C-stores Fall During Third Quarter

SAN FRANCISCO -- Completed sales of convenience stores fell sharply during the third quarter of 2012, according to's most recent Insight Report. Forty-one stores were sold during Q3, down from 75 the previous quarter and 48 during Q3 2011.

The median asking price for a c-store, however, increased to $150,000 during the quarter, up from $119,500 during the second quarter of 2012. The median sales price also rose to $125,000, up from $109,500 during Q2. During the third quarter of 2011, the median asking price was $212,500 and the median sales price was $196,175.

Overall small-business transactions had a healthier quarter. Brokers reported 1,189 closed business transactions, up 2.8 percent from the 1,157 sold during Q3 2011. This increase helped negate the 1.6-percent drop in sales reported during Q2 2012, and continues the “gradual, yet bumpy” recovery in the business-for-sale marketplace, according to the Insight Report.

"Over the past two years, we've seen similarly small increases in the business-for- sale market as economic conditions and overall business performance have improved," stated Mike Handelsman, group general manager of and "This quarter's growth was likely assisted by sellers looking to exit their businesses before the anticipated increase in the capital gains tax rate at the close of 2012."

Uncertainties about the remainder of 2012 and 2013, including the outcome of this year's presidential election, make the future of the business-for-sale market cloudy, according to the report.

"With so many macroeconomic factors in play, there will be a lot of uncertainty with both buyers and sellers in the marketplace," Handelsman said. "Overall, however, we expect the business-for-sale market to continue on the same slow yet bumpy road to improveme nt we've experienced over the past two years."

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