I am currently working with some clients who are interested in acquiring another company - the approach is to identify some suitable target businesses and to then approach them confidentially to see if there is any interest in the short or medium term. I get a variety of reactions when I contact the main shareholders/directors from a blunt 'go away' to 'go on then tell me more'. I appreciate that we are all busy and that a call out of the blue asking about the sale of your business can be an unwelcome intrusion however I do think it is worth a short amount of time to find out more. The benefits are that you can discover who is interested and why, the sort of price someone would be willing to pay (as opposed to a sale 'valuation'), the likely structure of any offer and the timescales. You can then use this to make any tweeks or changes that would make your business more attractive to a buyer, reflect upon the value and whether that matches your own expectations and how that impacts upon any future plans. also striking up a realtionship with a potential purchaser can build up trust over time, will help with the planning process and hopefullymaximise the benefits to you in tersm of value and timing. As with most things, if you do get a feel for the value that would be offered you can always seek the advice of your accountants or friendly advisor. And you never know you could be pleasantly suprised - there are people out there who are wanting to buy.