Plimsoll‘s VIBE report has outlined 52 timber merchants and importers that could be the target of takeovers, while also highlighting a further 78 timber companies that could be sold off by their parent companies.

Plimsoll claims that its report is based on assessing key criteria that could affect the potential of a sale, including the age of a firm’s board, its turnover, whether it has potential for growth or whether it is in financial strife.

“The 52 takeover targets we have identified generally have a similar profile – they are privately owned, are in financial difficulty and have owners who are approaching retirement,” said Plimsoll senior analyst David Pattison.

“Any firm in this position should be listening to the warning bells, because its selling price will be in the bargain basement.”

Mr Pattison added that he was “fairly certain” that the future of the other 78 companies mentioned in the VIBE report is being discussed behind closed doors.

Plimsoll’s states that its VIBE report has also picked out 11 key players in the takeover field, which it claims are focusing on timber merchants and importers with a turnover of around £5m.