Canadian Manufacturing

Business owners who wait to sell will face stiff competition, report claims

Sunbelt Canada said business sellers will soon outnumber buyers in Canada, driving up competition

OTTAWA—Apprehensive business owners who have put off selling their companies may face increased competition when they decide to put their shops on the market, according to a new report.

As Canadian business owners head for retirement following the recession, a Sunbelt Canada report says the number of sellers may outnumber buyers—driving up competition for buyers’ funds.

“Business sellers will face more competition for the attention and funds of small business buyers who will be more selective given increased choice,” Sunbelt Canada president Greg Kells said in a statement.

“We are seeing many more successful businesses coming on the market—a trend we expect to continue for some years to come.”

Buyers have historically outnumbered sellers in Canada, according to the brokerage, but this will no longer be the case by 2018.

Sunbelt said it expects the numbers to be roughly in balance—or perhaps tip to slightly more sellers than buyers—and will only widen as business owners get on in years.

According to Sunbelt, roughly 35 per cent of business owners in Canada are now 65 years or older, and the average small business owner retires at 71 years old.

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