eBay for business sales

More than 1,000 UK businesses, many of them websites, are putting themselves up for sale on eBay.co.uk at the time of writing. BusinessesforSale.com offers 63,309 worldwide, roughly half of them in the UK, and DaltonsBusiness.com has just relaunched its site with more than 27,000 companies up for grabs across Europe.

Business owners are going online to seek funding too. Growthwire.com, launched this month, has listings of investment propositions posted by corporate finance advisers. They range from a Czech inventor of proprietary house construction techniques seeking €500,000 (£400,000), to a developer of electric vehicles in China looking for €20 million.

According to Clive Bawden, business development director at Catalyst Corporate Finance, business-for-sale sites are most popular with ‘lifestyle businesses’ whose valuations are too small to merit the attention of a professional adviser.

‘If you’re a £100,000 turnover hairdresser based in Clapham and you want to sell your business, it’s fair enough,’ he states. ‘But if you’re a £50 million turnover company with 300 staff it’ll probably do less for you, because it won’t reach the right people. You’ll also be leaking confidential information, because once you reach a certain size it’s pretty easy for people to work out who you are.’


Marc Barber

Marc Barber

Marc was editor of GrowthBusiness from 2006 to 2010. He specialised in writing about entrepreneurs, private equity and venture capital, mid-market M&A, small caps and high-growth businesses.

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