Specialist firm, which advises business owners on exit strategies, sees marked increase in enquiries due to COVID’s impact


Since the beginning of lockdown in March 2020, there has been a 18% increase in the number of business owners preparing to exit their companies in comparison to the year before, according to award winning Manchester-based business consultancy Biramis Management Partners.

According to Biramis Management Partners, the figure has spiked again since the start of the November lockdown with the consultancy advising on 3 times as many enquiries in the three-month period following this, compared to the same time frame in 2019. 

This news comes as the UK readies itself to mark a year since the coronavirus pandemic forced people into their houses, staff members away from the offices and all organisations to adapt to largely online operations. However, CEO of Biramis Management Partners - Christiane Hutchinson, insists that these figures should be seen as a good thing.

Hutchinson explains:

“The increase in the number of owners coming forward and seeking advice on exiting their business is a positive – it means these individuals are thinking strategically about how they can maximise the value of their exit and taking care to ensure they are taking the right route out when the time is right. 

“It’s more concerning, to me, how so many business owners still aren’t taking time to plan this monumental move. Of course, with the situation changing every day, many are likely to be feeling swamped and as if they don’t have the time to start having these conversations, but this could be very dangerous. It could lead to them closing the business or selling to the nearest available buyer, without taking full advantage of the value that’s to be had.”

Hutchinson goes on to provide three top tips for all business owners to consider:

  • Planning is crucial – Don’t be short-changed when you exit, just because you didn’t start planning early enough
  • Knowing ‘what’ you are selling is imperative – Ensure your value is well-packaged before arriving at the exit gate 
  • Doing your research is essential – Know the type of buyer and the profile you are looking for, well ahead of any exit

Biramis Management Partners, which specialises in advising business owners on how to build the capital value of their companies and prepare for a future exit, is hosting a three-part webinar series on the topic between February and April. This will see experts and business owners who have been through the process come together to discuss options, insights and red flags to watch out for when exiting a business – whether it is through a trade sale, MBO or legacy exit where the business is passed on through the family.

The first webinar – which is taking place today (Thursday 25th February) - will feature Valerie Moran, the wealthiest black female in the UK according to The Sunday Times’ Rich List. In over thirty years of the list’s publication, Valerie is the only black female ever to be named. 

In 2020, she exited Prepaid Financial Services – the company she founded with her husband Noel Moran in 2008, having built it into one of the world’s leading fintech providers. Valerie is currently Head of Client Services & Operations at eCOMM Merchant Solutions, a company she and her husband established in 2014. She is also a Financial Times FT 100 BAME Leader in the UK and is an Official Member of the Forbes Business Development Council.

Other founders joining this Planning for a Successful Business Sale webinar include Stirling Austin, who has created, managed, sold, acquired, and merged a number of manufacturing and distribution businesses Europe including NIM Europe Management, Michelle Walshe, who took on the family food production business and led it to become Europe’s largest sous vide specialist before selling to Eight Fifty Food Group, and Ronan Byrne, who has built up and sold three tech and med-tech companies to large multinationals.

These webinars can be attended by booking a place via Biramis’ website: https://biramis.com/webinars/.

Biramis was named ‘Best Strategic Management Consultancy’ at the 2020 UK Enterprise Awards, ‘Strategic Management Consultancy of the Year/United Kingdom’ at the CorporateLiveWire Global Awards 20/21, and ‘Best Strategic Management Consultancy’ at the Manchester Prestige Awards 20/21.