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Buying a business


When seeking potential acquisitions, a purchaser is seeking:-

  • Strong customer and client lists
  • Strong brands
  • Experienced management teams/key staff
  • Access to new markets, key supplier relationships, licences
  • Intellectual property

Ultimately the purchaser wants to acquire future positive cashflows, which are either in place or have the potential to be realised.  Acquiring an existing business is often regarded as less risky than starting a business from scratch.

A purchaser must do their “homework” to make an acquisition successful:-

  • Ensure the target is a “good fit”, both culturally and that it complements the purchaser’s existing business
  • Assess the value of the target business. Examination of historic financial performance and more importantly the assessment of future financial results and cashflows.    Assessment of the risks for the target business and the sector in which it operates
  • Due diligence to determine possible issues relating to employees, title of property, licences, intellectual property, working capital, insurance, banking facilities, taxation and environmental matters
  • Structuring of the acquisition and tax planning
  • Funding mix – senior debt, alternative lenders and equity providers
  • Ability of future cashflows to service leverage, equity returns, working capital and required capital investment

A properly prepared purchaser is better equipped to negotiate a price that will deliver value for its shareholders.  Businesses don’t typically sell at the initial price set by the seller, the variance is dependent on the parties’ knowledge of the business and sector and the parties negotiation skills.

We advise purchasers to engage early with their accountants, tax advisors and legal team to assist in the process.  Cooney Carey work with both buyers and sellers and our expertise is business valuations, tax planning/structuring and negotiation.


If you have any questions or would like to talk to any of the Cooney Carey team, please contact us on 01 677 9000 or  We would be delighted to assist you.

To keep in touch, connect with us on LinkedIn.

Posted on August 12, 2020 by Cooney Carey

Business Reaction to Covid-19


We have witnessed the impact of Covid-19 on businesses in Ireland since mid-March 2020. It has had a particularly devastating effect in the retail and hospitality sectors.

The Government introduced reliefs at an early stage of the pandemic.  In particular, the TWSS scheme has been a success by delivering assistance directly to affected businesses.  The July 2020 Jobs Stimulus announced on 23 July 2020 has extended the TWSS scheme to April 2021 which will continue to support the businesses most in need.

Other positive measures introduced in the July 2020 Jobs Stimulus includes, debt warehousing for Revenue debts and the extension of the “Covid-19 Re-Start” grant.  It was widely anticipated that the Vat rate for hospitality would have been reduced from 13.5% to 9% to give a direct impetus to hospitality. Even though the Vat rate was not reduced the option to do so remains open to Government.

With challenges come opportunities.

We have seen many of our clients adapt their businesses as follows:

  • Changing how they deliver their product or service to market – clothing retailers have experienced expansion in online activity and sales
  • Adapting their product offering to meet new demands during lockdown e.g. restaurants selling and delivering “cook at home meal packs”, deliveries to cocooners and the local area
  • Identifying and filling gaps in markets – off-licences and grocery retailers stepped into the market space normally served by pubs
  • Harnessing the adaptability of their employees to efficiently work remotely

All businesses have been affected to some degree and need to continue to adapt, examining their businesses from the ground-up, seeking opportunities and improvements, reducing reliance on affected markets and investing in technology solutions to further empower staff and to retain and manage relationships with key customers and suppliers

We must continue to act responsibly to mitigate the spread of the virus.  In order to get people back into restaurants, pubs, hotels, offices, travelling for recreation/business, the end user must trust the provider.  When we achieve the necessary trust levels in a safe manner, we should see some of the “old normal”.

We continue to work with our clients to meet this challenge and to harvest the opportunities.  We wish you all well.


We are happy to help. Please contact us on 01 677 9000 or send us an email to, we would be delighted to assist you.

To keep in touch, connect with us on LinkedIn.

Posted on July 30, 2020 by Cooney Carey

10 Reasons Why A Business Continuity Plan Is A Must

All of us rightly or wrongly consider that once we have a backup for the data on our computers that we are fully covered in the event of a disaster. However, as some of you will have already learned the hard way, that this is rarely the case.   A disaster can be defined as “any event or series of events that prevents your business from accessing the data and systems it needs to operate” and this includes power failures, cyberattacks, employee sabotage and hardware failure.

Every company faces the risk of IT interruptions that can grind business to a halt and if this stoppage is serious enough it can risk bringing the business to a permanent standstill or failure.   

We have listed below ten reason as to why your business should consider investing the time and resources in a business continuity plan, and in a subsequent article we will detail what the contents of a Disaster Recovery Plan should contain;

  1. The overall consideration here is that a business can’t afford downtime
  2. Customers expect always to be able to access websites, order portals etc. Downtime therefore means loss of business from customers both immediately and in the long term.
  3. Downtime can also cause reputational damage as this can be interpreted as shoddy and inadequate systems
  4. The weather (Beast from the East) can play havoc with our systems and should be protected.
  5. Sometimes hardware just fails, even the best equipment can just die for no apparent reason.
  6. If subject to a cyber-attack, it could also impact your client business.
  7. In this new GDPR world any data breaches can prove very costly to the business and should be protected to comply with all the relevant legislation.
  8. A staggering statistic from the US in relation to SME’s 43% of companies were immediately put out of business by a “major loss” of computer records, and another 51% permanently closed their doors within two years — leaving a mere six percent “survival” rate. 
  9. Ultimately it will save you money in the long term, once the initial investment is over it will begin paying dividend for the company.
  10. All systems even the most secure, interact with humans, and humans can make mistakes. 

You can see from the above that it is imperative that all businesses invest the necessary resources in a Business Continuity, Disaster Recovery Plan and we shall be looking at what it should contain in future articles.

What Questions Do You Have?

We are happy to help. Please post your comment below or call Des McCann, Partner at Cooney Carey, on 01 677 9000. Alternatively, send him an email:

To keep in touch, connect with us on LinkedIn.

If this article helped you, please share it with other businesses.

Posted on May 21, 2019 by Cooney Carey

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