Belfast Telegraph

Upsurge in sales of Ulster companies

By Clare Weir

A Co.Londonderry business adviser has said that sales and purchases in Northern Ireland remain buoyant despite the economic downturn.

Declan Kelly of Focus Business Advisers in Maghera specialises in the small and medium sized business community across Ireland.

He said there had been an upsurge of interest since late autumn and people and organisations were looking to purchase a bargain.

“We have noted since November a definite increase in the number of people registering to either sell or buy businesses,” he said.

“It typically takes six to nine months to sell a business so we are hoping for increases in sale completions in 2011.”

“There are buyers specifically looking for companies in distress in the hope of purchasing assets at knock-down prices.

“Individuals with cash to invest are in a strong position at present and tend to drive hard bargains. Generally trade buyers are more likely to pay a fair price as they are making strategic investments.”

However he said lack of finance was a handicap for trade buyers.

“In a number of instances potential buyers have told us they pulled out of deals because their banks would not advance the finance — despite the fact that the buyer in one case already had 50% of the asking price in cash,” he said.

Belfast Telegraph