5 February, 2008 – Barclays Commercial reveals strong NW appetite for business growth
Seventy three per cent of businesses in the North West say they are actively planning an acquisition, merger or management buyout over the next 12 months, according to new research published by Barclays Commercial Bank.
And while nearly three quarters of firms (73 per cent) believe business is going to become much more competitive this year, this has not dampened aspirations for growth, with a quarter (25 per cent) saying a merger or acquisition will have the greatest impact on improving their competitiveness.
Only last week, Barclays Commercial Bank announced it had acted as sole arranger for a new £75 million finance facility for PZ Cussons, assisting the Stockport-based business to complete the acquisition of The Sanctuary Spa Holdings Limited.
Michael Hartig, Corporate Director for Barclays Commercial Bank in the North West said: "Negative predictions are what make the headlines but businesses in the North West know the reality is that the economy is still growing; it’s just growing more slowly.
"It’s encouraging to hear that businesses are confident of their prospects for the year ahead, and with credit still available, we will continue to support businesses that have strong propositions and sound management structures to finance growth.
"What’s more, with the Chancellor’s recent decision to make concessions to small businesses over capital gains tax, many successful business owners who had been thinking of selling-up before the 6 April deadline, may now instead look at alternative ways to expand or grow.
"Of course, the current environment is a challenging one and for businesses to protect growth prospects, careful planning is more important than ever.
"While the temptation for many may be to tighten belts, carefully targeted investment is required to ensure continued growth in the long-term – and is vital if businesses want to keep rising competition at bay."
Source: Barclays Commercial Bank press release