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Pros and cons of selling at auction

By Duncan Crowther

Wilson Browne

MANY owners consider a sale of their company or business for various reasons, including retirement, succession planning, or simply a change of lifestyle. However, many sellers may not appreciate alternative sale mechanisms, such as a sale by auction.

In most share or business disposals, the seller has a choice between two main routes to sale, being either a traditional structure, where the seller negotiates the deal with a single buyer, or an auction sale, which involves the seller seeking bids for the company or business from several potential buyers in a competitive process.

The potential benefits of a sale by auction include reaching a larger group of possible buyers, that a higher price may be achieved through competitive bidding, and that the seller can control the timetable.

Despite the advantages, there are several potential issues for a seller to consider, including the fact that not all businesses are suitable for sale by auction, that an auction may not be appropriate where the nature or structure of the business is complicated, that the sale may be subject to certain restrictions set out in the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, and crucially, knowledge that the business is for sale can interrupt its day to day operations.

The Corporate and Commercial team at Wilson Browne Solicitors are well placed to advise on all types of company and business disposals, including those which may be suitable for an auction process. For an initial no obligation confidential discussion on the various options available to sellers considering an exit from their business, call 0800 088 6004. We’re all the help you need.

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