SMEs: selling businesses

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Director of studies, Monitoring and foresight, BPCE Group

André CROS

Former manager, Acoustique & Conseil

Seminar Industrial adventures | Wednesday September 16, 2015 - 17h30 - 19h30

The survey carried out by Alain Tourdjman concerning the sale of SMEs (small and medium-sized entreprises) upsets some pre-conceived ideas. More than half of all sales or transfers of businesses take place before the owner or manager is 55 years old, and not, as we might otherwise imagine, at the end of his or her professional career. Furthermore, a company which has between 100 and 250 employees is much more likely to be sold than a smaller company which employs between 10 and 49 people, even if the manager of the smaller company is more than 60 years old. The difficulty of selling a business, often linked to a lack of anticipation and the difficulty in finding a trustworthy buyer, does not necessarily result in the disappearance of the business but in a general situation where those managing SMEs are ageing and have a heightened aversion to risk. This may have macro-economic effects. André Cros, who found the right buyer for his company only after three attempts, explains the difficulties and problems of handing over a business, but also the fact that it is possible to achieve a transaction which satisfies both parties. 

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