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Corporate valuations to increase Back  
Almost three quarters of senior management of privately owned businesses expect corporate valuations to increase over the coming year, which is good news for the 29 per cent who expect to participate in merger & acquisition activity over the next three years.
The statistics come as part of a study into the experiences and outlook of management at a range of firms with a turnover of up to €150 million. It was commissioned by IBI Corporate Finance, together with Bank of Ireland Private Banking, A&L Goodbody Solicitors and Kennelly and Twomey tax advisers, and was undertaken by Mergermarket, the independent M&A intelligence provider.

Other key findings of the survey included:
• 58 per cent of respondents declared themselves either confident (32%) or very confident (26%) about the prospects for their companies’ performance over the coming 12 months.
• 52 per cent declared that their own companies’ performance had mirrored that of the booming economy over the past three years, while 16 per cent said that the performance of their companies had exceeded management’s expectations and/or the overall economy.
• Only 32 per cent of business owners expect to transfer ownership to family members; the majority would favour disposal to third parties or non-family management.
• 77 per cent do not have a definite succession plan in place, leaving businesses highly exposed to legal, tax and family conflict risks.

In terms of the practicalities of corporate transactions, 71 per cent of respondents described themselves as either totally or very comfortable about providing warranties as part of the sale process. Just 6 per cent described themselves as either slightly or very uncomfortable.

In terms of wealth management, 80 per cent of respondents have or are actively considering a wealth management plan: 39 per cent have a definite plan in place, 35 per cent are currently considering options and 6 per cent are finalising a wealth management plan.

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