By David Arminas
London - Britain's privately-owned rubber firms are ripe for takeovers, according to the latest report on the sector by Plimsoll Publishing.
Around 375 of the country's 540 rubber companies are in private hands. But the increasing age of the owners makes the businesses susceptible to overtures from larger corporations, said Plimsoll's senior analyst David Pattison.
Succession plans may be in place but even the new generation is likely to review their options, he said.
Turnover of the firms studied by Plimsoll ranged from â€œa few thousand pounds into the millions.â€ They make everything from sheeting to car interior mats. Up to 80 per cent of profits are typically not ploughed back into the business. This means there is room for improvement from larger firms willing to invest in the firm following an acquisition.
However, the report warns that if families increasingly withdraw from the sector, then there is a danger that the characteristic stewardship and parallel entrepreneurial drive will be lost to the industry.
Furthermore, the small firms are cagey and good at hiding their true value and financial worth from the marketplace as a competitive edge. But this means any initial bids are likely to be seen as disappointingly low by the family.
From PRW (A Crain publication)