Management buy-ins dwindle to pounds 2.8bn

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The Independent Online
THE NUMBER of management buyouts and buy-ins in the UK have fallen for the first time since 1983, according to research by the University of Nottingham.

The total number of buyouts and buy-ins fell from 595 in 1990 to 564 in 1991. And there was a consequential fall in their combined value from pounds 3.2bn to pounds 2.8bn.

Ken Robbie, from the Centre of Management Buyout Research at the university, said that the value of buyouts had been falling over the past three years.

Although the number of buyouts was particularly high in 1990, he said that it 'fell off a bit' in 1991.

The decline was partly because of the recession, and partly because many private vendors attempted to resist downward pressure on business values by holding back until they obtained the price they wanted.

Also, he pointed out that the Government's privatisation programme had become less active, which meant there had been fewer small buyouts from the public sector.

However, he said that the total volume of buyouts in the first half of this year had been good.

And he added that 'small to medium-sized markets have been surprisingly healthy'.

The pounds 50m to pounds 100m market was also 'a bit healthier' than 18 months ago.

But, he stressed, 'there is no sign we will get back to the buyouts of several hundred millions of pounds of three years ago' such as MFI, Magnet and Lowndes Queensway.