Your Shout: Chris Irving, Fleurets

21 July 2004
Your Shout: Chris Irving, Fleurets

Most publicans, hoteliers and restaurateurs reach a time when they wish to sell the freehold interest in their business, but this often proves to be a more complicated

process than it initially seems. What most business people would like to achieve is the sale of their business for the highest achievable figure without anybody but the purchaser knowing. The question is whether to try to achieve a confidential sale or decide on a full marketing approach. Such a decision is usually based on a number of factors: will we lose trade as soon as our customers know the premises are on the market?; will key members of staff find out and then leave - perhaps leaving us without a chef?; do we want our competitors knowing about our business and accounts?; do we want to be involved in a protracted marketing period? One of the key factors is how readily identifiable the purchasers for your premises are. If it's a town-centre operation that will need to be assigned to a strong covenant, there's a good chance the agent would know all of the potential purchasers and be able to forward details without full marketing. However, if your premises are going to appeal to the private purchaser the scope of interest will be far and wide, and there's a much greater risk that the maximum price won't be achieved if the details are sent only to a niche market through a limited approach to the sale. And although many staff may be initially concerned about losing their jobs, they will usually be transferred under TUPE regulations and their jobs will be secure. Fleurets would normally recommend full marketing, hand-in-hand with a realistically priced property in order to achieve a quick sale, which normally results in securing the maximum price with minimum disruption.
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