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Is 2018 The Right Time To Sell Your Company?

Most of my business comes from selling companies, finding companies to buy and occasionally searching for investors. It is fair to say that I spend 50 hours plus per week with my small team absorbed with such weighty matters. Interspersed with the occasional cup of tea.

The most popular question when meeting new clients is this: “What effect is Brexit going to have?” (Which can be interpreted as, “Is this a good time to sell?”)

My usual reply is this: “How concerned are you about the effect of Brexit in your business?” Which, so far, has elicited the following response:

“No concerns at all…”

Well then. That clears that one up.

The economic barometers are quite good actually. I’ll spare you copious amounts of data, save to say that manufacturing is up, the service economy is up, business investment is OK and unemployment is at a 40-year low. Yes, inflation picked up over the last 18 months or so, but that is almost entirely due to the weak pound that has made imports more expensive. (It was a little, shall we say, presumptive, to assume companies would absorb that extra cost and not pass it on…)

It’s a pretty good outlook really. And actually that weak pound is proving attractive to overseas buyers – if you are a US or US-pegged currency buying a UK business, now has never been a better time.

Ultimately the market takes the long view. And no matter what minor turbulences occur on a monthly or even annual basis, globalization is a force that cannot be put back in a box. Few mid – to large companies operate solely in their domestic market. Satisfying the need for continued growth inevitably focuses on the need to acquire businesses; which means looking internationally. If one was conduct a ‘SWOT’ analysis on buying a company in Germany, Italy, France, Spain or the UK – would the UK be any less attractive right now? I doubt it. Each country faces its own inextricable issues. But in the long run, these issues iron out to reflect the underlying truths. The UK has a solid and well-established business infrastructure, access to global capital, has superb academic know-how and will undoubtedly continue to prosper for many decades to come.

So to answer the question, is 2018 the right time to sell? The answer is simple – if you are looking for a potential buyer, market appetite is good and if the timing works for you personally, 2018 is a good prospect indeed.

For those of you who love data, please click here for something to whet your appetite…

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