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130 firms changed hands over last year

At least 130 medium-sized Northern Ireland companies saw all or part of their ownership change over the last year, according to a new survey.

The Barclays Entrepreneurs Index found that owners were, on average, selling their share in a business after 24 years of operation and at the time of sale the businesses were making a profit of around £24m.

The report is designed to give an insight into the entrepreneurial lifecycle, examining shareholder changes of growing businesses with turnovers of £5m-£200 million.

Jonathan Dobbin, Head of Wealth and Investment Management NI, Barclays, said entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of the economy.

"They are catalysts of job creation and of economic growth. Ultimately they lead to wealth realisation for individuals, communities and countries," he said.

"A more buoyant environment should lead to greater investor confidence - the more likely the exit, the more likely the initial investment."

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