Australian Newsagency Blog

A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.


Mark Fletcher
May 4th, 2018 · 4 Comments

When you list your retail business for sale, I suggest you have a clause in the agreement with the broker requiring them to get approval from you before they provide any business data to any party enquiring.

I am aware of several situations in our channel where a party has enquired and used the data obtained through the broker about the seller’s business to directly approach the landlord to seek to take over the lease.

I have been told of parties using the business data and a relationship with a landlord to facilitate them getting a business for no goodwill.  I am told of newsagents who have lost considerable sums because of this.

My advice is that you should personally approve every party you permit to have access to your business data and that you make this decision after careful through and consultation.

Yes, there are unscrupulous parties in our channel who fake interest in buying a business to provide them access to information they can leverage to their advantage and your disadvantage.

I appreciate the temptation to provide data to every party that enquires about purchasing your business because you are most likely keen to sell. Please do not let your keenness blind you from careful consideration of every decision you make through the process. You can’t take back data you have shared. It could be that you realise too late that a party on the other side is not honourable, as have others I have spoken with.

What I have written here is more relevant for shopping centre based businesses than those in high street situations as shipping centre landlords are, in my opinion, more likely to work with other parties to the detriment of an incumbent tenant. I have seen this happen too many times in our channel and in other retail channels, to the harm of the seller.

  • Be careful who you trust.
  • Vet everyone who seeks access to your data.
  • Control who has access to information about your business.
  • Make thorough notes abut every discussion.

I get that some will see my comments here as paranoid. That’s okay. All I can do is share my opinion. I could considerably focus attention by naming names. I won’t do that here because they would sue for sure. All I can sale is seller beware.


Category: Ethics · Management tip · Newsagency management · Selling your newsagency

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Factory Worker // May 4, 2018 at 6:26 AM

    If it is the truth, why would you worry about being sued?

    Truth is an absolute defence.


  • 2 Mark Fletcher // May 4, 2018 at 7:21 AM

    And “Factory” you are so sure of what you publish here that you use your real name. Truth bay be a defence in some action but not others. #askalawyer


  • 3 er // May 4, 2018 at 1:18 PM

    Factory worker . this is newsagents blog , you should be drinking beer with your buddy in the pub.


  • 4 Graeme Day // May 4, 2018 at 7:33 PM

    Information of the Business’s Performance or its financial records should not be distributed without the signing of a Confidentiallity Agreement from the prospective purchaser.
    Any good Broker insist on this with certain conditions applying that are covered by IndemnityIinsurance.


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