A third of UK mid-market business leaders are actively planning to sell their company but often only because they feel pressurised to do so, according to research.
Some 33 per cent of the 500 leaders questioned in the study said they plan to find a buyer by April 2017, with 29 per cent of those looking to sell admitting they feel "forced" into that decision.
Fifty-five per cent said they are experiencing a rise in investor interest in their firm.
The study, by law firm Mills & Reeve, argued that any wave in pressurised sales in the mid-market could cause a "drag on the UK economy" because more value could be created if firms were to scale up.
Mid-market firms actively looking to sell up currently generate £237bn of the UK's turnover, the report claimed.
Some 69 per cent of those questioned felt the UK economy would be stronger if more companies were scaled up rather than sold. And 63 per cent said they were worried about the UK's economic future because so many of its greatest prospects are sold before they reach their full potential.
"The mid-market currently accounts for a quarter of the UK's turnover," said Claire Clarke, partner at Mills & Reeve.
"While selling may be the right choice for some companies, scaling up can, with the right support, offer greater returns for business owners, shareholders and the UK economy as a whole."
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