Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Businesses for Sale London – 3 Key Sectors to Watch

For investors looking for businesses for sale, London remains an attractive location to do business. But although many buyers are keen to buy into successful London businesses for sale they are, understandably, looking for businesses which have proven their ability to survive and thrive - and some sectors are proving stronger than others. So which sectors are doing best in London right now and why? We examine 3 key sectors which are emerging strongly from the credit crunch, and should form the focus for any investor considering businesses for sale in London.

Property and Auxiliary Services

As elsewhere in the UK, the rental market in London is holding strong. As well as the general level of rental demand, there has been an increase in homeowners choosing to rent out their properties as an alternative to selling - creating a growing market for property rental companies. At the same time, in many London areas the property sales market has proven to be very resilient, and the advent of the London Olympics has served to promote property prices at all levels. Property businesses for sale in London with strong rental portfolios or in popular sales areas continue to be attractive to investors.

Property management companies are also doing well. Residential apartment blocks or commercial premises still require maintenance and management even if individual offices or apartments change hands. Investors should be especially attracted to property management businesses for sale in London with a good number and mix of property types, which will help to reduce the impact of the loss of any particular property from the books.

And where there is property, there is a need for auxiliary services to maintain the property. Repairs, window cleaning and so on are always needed, and cleaning companies are in constant demand throughout the capital. For those considering investing in commercial cleaning businesses for sale London has the highest density of commercial and block apartment buildings in the UK - meaning that demand is likely to remain very stable over the longer term. But it is important to look at the company’s client base and be sure that those clients themselves look stable.


For investors considering businesses for sale London recruitment companies offer some interesting opportunities. Some types of recruitment are proving to be very stable, reflecting the sectors that they themselves serve, especially high demand sectors such as technology and healthcare. While permanent recruitment has dipped generally across the board, recruitment companies which have made the switch or diversified into temporary and contract recruitment are continuing to do well. Look for recruitment companies with a diverse portfolio across a number of sectors and which have proven themselves able to respond quickly to changes in the employment market.


There is ongoing and rising need for healthcare of all kinds including care homes, domiciliary care and specialist care such as mental health, dementia and learning disabilities. The demographics of the UK is such that this need is set to rise steadily over the coming decades - and as the largest city in the UK, the demand in London is the highest of all. Investors should be especially interested in healthcare businesses for sale in London which have a good mix of private and government funded clients, and which have received good ratings from government bodies. Both point to good quality care provision and a contented clientele, which is ultimately what will ensure a good long term investment in this sector.

Caveat Emptor

It should be noted that regardless of the trends noted above, identification of a "safe sector" should only be a starting point for a prospective buyer. Investors still need to carefully research individual companies - checking cashflow, debts, orderbooks, management structures and so on. They also need to ensure a good match for their requirements and be sure that they have a sound business plan for their new acquisition. It helps greatly to work with an experienced business broker who is familiar with the marketplace and can act as an intermediary.

About Axis Partnership

Business for Sale London  - Axis Partnership are specialist business brokers helping to buy and sell businesses in London and throughout the UK. We specialise in a number of industry areas, with Healthcare, Recruitment, and Property Management forming three of our busiest sectors, along with Manufacturing & Engineering, Packaging, Logistics, and Commercial Cleaning.

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