Trends & Features

Downturn represents big opportunity – if you have the capital

The current economic downturn represents one of the biggest opportunities in a generation, if you have the courage and the capital, according to a new study by industry analyst Plimsoll Publishing.

The study has rated each of the UK’s leading 682 sports and leisurewear companies on their acquisition attractiveness. It found that 119 companies are ‘ripe for the picking’ based on a combined scoring system incorporating overall financial strength, ownership, valuation and future potential. These 119 companies are all privately owned, yet are showing a deterioration in financial performance.

David Pattison, senior analyst at Plimsoll, explains the results: “What we have identified here is a group of ‘wounded animals’ – many of these businesses have a long and distinguished history, yet their recent performance has deteriorated. By definition, these are classic acquisitions. Anyone looking to grow their own company through acquisition should be looking for businesses that are currently undervalued yet, with help, can be turned around.”

However, as Pattison points out: “This will not be easy. Many will need rapid and deep cost cutting to get them back on a firm financial footing. We could see as many as 2,125 jobs go over the next 12-24 months as these companies shrink to ensure their survival.”

Despite this dour prediction, Pattison has identified a significant opportunity in the UK sports and leisurewear market. He says: “The current market conditions have presented an unprecedented set of opportunities to buy into a business that, even a year ago, would have been unaffordable. We know of at least 274 companies within the industry who have the cash to spend and could aid these 119 ailing businesses and ensure their survival.”

Copes of the full analysis are available for £350. For more information call Clair Sherwood on 01642 626400 or emailing

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