We approached a competitor about buying their business and they decided to engage a business broker. The info sheet they provided was very limited with gross sales for a few years, gross margin, & an "adjusted" EBITDA. They would not elaborate upon what was included in that calculation. Since we were unable to make an offer they say they are going to explore the general M&A market. Any advice on how to crack this egg would be appreciated.
If they aren't willing to provide transparency and full disclosure - allowing you to complete your due diligence - you might be better off to move on.
In other words - based on their elusive behavior and lack of willingness to cooperate - the egg you are looking to crack is likely a rotten one.
Of course you can always try to get this info from the broker (it wasn't clear in your description whom you requested the info from - the owner(s) or the broker). If they are uncooperative then the whole deal should be rejected by YOU.
In any case - Best of luck!