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Ed Reeves: “I should have bought the competition”

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“It was December 2008. The bankers were running for the hills, debt was nowhere to be seen, cash flow was dreadful and there were no signs of a recovery," he recalls. "Our competitors had their heads in their hands, not knowing if survival was possible.

"We should have gone on an acquisition spree while the economy was at its worst and the prospects were dreadful, picking up those competitors that were doubting their future.

"Now, with light at the end of the tunnel, you’re only likely to find the genuine failures in the bargain bin,” he sighs.

One entrepreneur who did take advantage of companies in distress is Matthew Riley. When we interviewed the owner of telecoms firm Daisy Communications for the last issue of Real Business, he’d just floated him company on AIM, raising £84m and using the cash to gobble up three companies.

Related articles:Matthew Riley: "SMEs need more help, not more paperwork"

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