LONDON, August 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
There's a strong appetite for rescuing struggling pubs from developers, a survey by BusinessesForSale.com suggests.
Of respondents using the market-leading directory of business-opportunities to buy a pub, 59% said they would be interested in buying a struggling pub were it realistically priced, compared to 49% of would-be buyers of other businesses.
But pub buyers are not just motivated by the prospect of bargains; nearly half (46%) say they would actually relish the challenge of transforming a failing business.
The news coincides with a Liberal Democrat MP's attempts to keep pubs of historical, architectural or social importance out of the hands of property developers. Dr Julian Huppert, the MP for Cambridge, has presented a bill to prevent the demolition or change of use of a pub or local independent shop without planning permission.
Contended with multiple challenges including high beer duty, cheap supermarket beer and cash-strapped consumers, 12 pubs each week are ceasing to exist.
The BusinessesForSale.com survey also suggests that pub buyers are finding it particularly difficult to raise finance. Only 36% of pub buyers expect to get a bank loan against 45% of other business buyers. A greater proportion of pub buyers (23%) than buyers of other businesses (16%) expect to borrow cash from friends and family.
A quarter (25%) of pub buyers will at least part-finance the business with funds from their existing business, compared to 16% of other business buyers. Around one in three (34%) people considering buying a pub already own a business and want to diversify or expand, compared to 22% of other business buyers.
Most pub buyers are not new to running businesses. Around three quarters (74%) have bought a business before, against approximately half (51%) of other business buyers.
BusinessesForSale.com head of marketing Rufus Bazley says: "The survey results confirm what we'd heard anecdotally. Despite media reports of high closure rates, there's still a huge appetite to buy pubs. Nearly one in five [18%] buyers using our site are contemplating buying a pub, bar or nightclub.
"And while entrepreneurs are naturally an optimistic bunch, those who believe they can transform failing pubs are not being naive. After all, a significant portion of those expressing this view already run a pub or have run pubs in the past."