Knightsbridge Business Sales & KBS Corporate: Reviews, Feedback, Complaints, Fees, Testimonials, T&Cs ...
Knightsbridge Business Sales Ltd (KBS) and KBS Corporate Sales Ltd (KBSC) are owned by K3 Capital Group Plc which listed on AIM in April 2017 (AIM:K3C). KBS typically sells businesses of up to £500K in value and KBSC handles the sale of businesses they value at over £500K (up to about £5m). Both companies "cover all sectors including retail, catering, care, commercial, licenced and leisure markets".
We've collected some information about these business broker companies below which should be of interest to business owners considering instructing KBS or KBSC to sell their business. This page was created in January 2018. However, please note that some of this information may be dated. Please seek the most current information and conduct your own research. Please also see our guide to interpreting reviews.
Address: Both companies are registered at KBS House, 5 Springfield Court, Summerfield Road, Bolton, England, BL3 2NT
Phone: 01204 227 661 (KBS) and 0161 951 5509 (KBSC)
Websites: KBS is at KnightsbridgePLC.com and KBSC is at KBSCorporate.com.
KBS has a LinkedIn page with 18 employees listed on LinkedIn, a Tumblr presence, a G+ page, a Twitter account with 282 followers and a YouTube channel.
KBSC has a LinkedIn page with 220 employees listed on LinkedIn, a Twitter account with 428 followers and a Google+ account.
Information we have on these companies: We have copies of their Terms & Conditions, fees, invoices, signed agreements, quotes, valuation reports and correspondence they've exchanged with previous clients. We have several examples of fees they've quoted to clients (and the fee structure). Some extracts from that information, and snapshots, are reproduced below.
Fees: KBSC generally charge an upfront fee of circa £5,000, but are known to quote higher. On a company with a 2.5m turnover they recently quoted £6,000 (+ 2.5% as a success fee). Our records also show that a £5m t/o business was quoted £7,500 + 3% and a business with a £7 million turnover was quoted £10K + 3%. All figures are before VAT.
The fees for KBS similarly, and to the best of our knowledge, vary from business to business but are significantly lower than the equivalent KBSC charges. The fee structure, however, is the same with an advance fee and a success fee.
Our Summary: From conversations we've had with clients who've used these two companies, the feedback is varied. We've reproduced below a two week extract from our monitoring of the Knightsbridgeplc.com LinkedIn account showing no less than six price reductions over that period. If that rate were sustained over the year it would be 156 price reductions on a listing base of 871 businesses (as per KBS at Daltons in Jan 2018).
It may be the case that their initial valuations are on the higher side forcing later price reductions. However, Knightsbridge have claimed to us that at their initial consultancy meeting with clients the figures they provide are "from both a conservative and aspirational point rather than a specific valuation".
Company records, director information and financials (balance sheets etc) can be downloaded from the Companies House website:
Knightsbridge Business Sales Ltd, Company Number 08924297
KBS Corporate Sales Ltd, Company Number: 0414155
Reviews for these two companies are a little trickier to find and filter partly because of the different names used in referring to them including:
- "KBS" is used in some places to refer to both companies;
- KBS Corporate Sales Ltd was previously called Knightsbridge Business Sales Ltd (!);
- Knightsbridge Business Sales Ltd was previously called KBS Corp Ltd (up to 2014).
This is further complicated by the fact that there's an estate agency and other companies using the letters KBS in their name. As such, note that some of the reviews listed at the below destinations may not be for the company you think but for a different company altogether!
There seem to be no reviews for either company at Reviews.io, TrustPilot, ComplaintsBoard.com, TouchLocal, Scoot, Glassdoor, eOpinions, Feefo or Yelp.
Google seems to be the only location with reviews:
Google (see right column of search results): The company has 27 reviews with an average rating of 4.0 out of 5.
We did however find an article in the Mirror, copy below, where the journalist is not happy with the £995 plus VAT withdrawal fee.
There is a complaint at RipoffReport, but KBS have replied to that and the complaint may have been resolved to the client's satisfaction.
Jobs: KBS often advertises sales positions for sales executives whose responsibility it is to speak with business owners and convince them to list their business with KBS. The last such job is being advertised currently with a salary of £15K - £20K and OTE of £19K - £35K.
In the last accounts KBS was profitable with a turnover of just under £1.3 million and profit of over £470K. KBSC was also profitable, with a turnover of £5.8 million and profit of £1.5 million before tax. Please see images below.
- Market Presence
- kbs marketing
- snapshot of mail
Market Presence: The KBS group is one of the UK's largest business brokers by number of listings. KBS has a total of 871 businesses for sale at Daltons out of which 230 are currently showing as "Price reduced". Businesses range in size from some that are below £50K in turnover to one that is listed with a turnover of £856K. There were 50 new listings added in the last 30 days.
One of the ways in which KBS Corporate get business is by sending out thousands of emails to businesses claiming that there's a large demand for businesses like theirs. The emails tend to not be very targeted. We've seen emails arriving at general email addresses such as sales@ and info@.
An extract from one of their emails (full sample available here):
Could your company sell to an overseas buyer?
The UK M&A market has reached record breaking levels in recent years, and with
the number of sales in the mid-market arena exceeding 1,500 in 2016, we believe
that now is the perfect time to capitalise on the favourable market conditions
and consider the sale of (XXXXXXXX - company name removed) Ltd.
With 20 years' experience completing company transactions, KBS Corporate has
developed a unique and bespoke approach to fulfil your sale objectives and
deliver maximum value for your company.
The emails come from multiple domains such as kbscorporate.exvm.com , kbs-corporate.online etc., and can be quite frequent - 30+ a year (see image below). However, every email does have an unsubscribe option.
Extracts From The KBSC Contract
As per the above, the contract is open ended i.e. if the business owners fail to cancel the contract in a specific way they will be liable to pay the "success fee" even if they sell their business several years later through their own efforts. Minimum lock-in period, however, is just six months which we consider very reasonable.
Errors & Omissions: If there is any information on this page that you feel needs to be corrected, or other important data that you feel needs to be included, please contact us.