Insolvent company takeovers slacken as fewer go under

Acquisitions of insolvent businesses in Yorkshire fell during the second half of 2010, according to research by Experian Corpfin.

In the six months to the end of December, 11 deals in Yorkshire involved companies acquired out of administration or other formal insolvency procedures, equivalent to one in 11 of all mergers and acquisitions.

The research by Experian Corpfin, on behalf of the insolvency trade body R3, said the fall in distressed deals reflected the drop in insolvencies in the region.

The 11 deals compared to 19 such deals in the first half of the year, or one in seven of all acquisitions.

Andrew Walker, Yorkshire regional chair of R3 and a partner at Irwin Mitchell, said: "Insolvent deals have been running at high levels since mid-2008, when the economic problems began to set in. The numbers peaked between mid-2009 and the middle of last year, and have since fallen back to the levels of early 2009.

"Buyers who have had the money have been taking the opportunity to pick up businesses and assets during the downturn while values remain low."

He added that the fall in distressed deals over the past six months may reflect the fact there had been fewer insolvencies, and therefore fewer distressed businesses coming on the market.

"However potential buyers should be aware that in the run-up to recovery there is still a window of opportunity to acquire businesses that are potentially profitable but in need of some tender loving care and sound management," he said.

R3 is the trade body for insolvency professionals.

R3 stands for "Rescue, Recovery, and Renewal" and is also known as the Association of Business Recovery Professionals.

All R3 members are regulated by one of nine recognised professional bodies.