In boom times we can sell the best company at a premium because time to market matters a lot. Buyers want a mature asset that already has traction. In a trough the opposite is true. Buyers are in less of a hurry. They shop around. Price trumps time to market. They generally buy the asset that is good enough, and cheapest. They don't mind taking time to bring the code up to snuff and developing the market. Every process we have participated in over the last few months has had a spoiler a failed VC-backed company, a bankruptcy, a fire-sale divestiture. What are the implications for good companies that aren't willing to sell cheap?
We just closed a deal that provides a useful roadmap. The buyer was looking at three companies. When it became clear that the buyer was going to lowball the deal, we explored with them exactly what they needed, and were able to sell a non-exclusive license at an M&A value.