Over two third of pub and bar companies in the UK are “primed to be taken over” due to the current economic climate, with the market set for a prolonged period of consolidation, according to a new study. The research by Plimsoll analysed 429 companies with a turnover of over £1 million per annum and picked out 310 that are primed to be taken over. The financial analyst said there was a surprising number of “cash rich” competitors waiting in the wings and that the market could be set for a prolonged period of consolidation. The new analysis also identified 187 companies that have a sizeable cash reserve sat on their balance sheets that, due to record low interest rates, is generating nothing. David Pattison, author of the new Public Houses, Bars & Inns analysis, said: “One company has a £91 million cash pot. These companies are now in the position to buy up large chunks of market share at rock bottom prices and make that money work for them. They must be like kids in a sweet shop at the moment – all those distressed competitors available at a fraction of their true value.” “I am sure any director worth his salt would agree that, in the current climate, there are simply too many companies chasing too little market. With many directors eyeing the exit doors and highly leveraged buyouts consigned to history for the time being, it really is a buyers market out there for cash rich companies.”