Interesting blog post from John Warrilow of "Sellability Score" fame on the interesting finding in a recent survey that younger entrepreneurs typically get more unsolicited offers for their business.
John did an analysis of responses to the Sellability Score questionaire - if you want to get a quick and interesting view on the sellability of your business try it here. This found that the response to the question "Have you received a writeen offer (e.g. letter of intent, expression of interest) to buy your business in the last year" gave a quite skewed response. 26% of owners aged 32 or younger had received offers comparted to only 12% of those older entrepreneurs in the survey.
John puts forward some interesting thoughts as to why this might be:-
Energy - Folk buy these businesses because if they can retain and motivate the entrepreneur he can really give energy to their business ongoing. I've certainly seen the owners of some businesses we've sold go on to have great careers withing the purchasing company as they bring it new energy.
Acquihire - you buy a company for the people not the product. This is interesting as often people based busineses such as the software companies around Cambridge will have a metric for assessing acquisitions based on a "price per skull" or "price per engineer" quite apart from EBIT multiples and so forth.
Facebook - I'm less convinced by this poing - which I think is that these entrepreneurs are more tech savvy "of the Facebook generation" and so can inject social media savvy into the acquiror. To me this feels like something one could hire or maybe its a variation of the Acquihire point.
There is a practical point related to this - if you're a buyer why not factor in the age of the entrepreneur into your acquisition search criteria. Databases of corporate data allow one to search on director and shareholder ages - so this might produce an interesting list.
However if you want a well researched contrary view have a look at this blog post from entrepreneurship.org about Australian academic research showing most entrepreneurial activity is amongst 55 to 64 year olds, and that they're much more tech-savvy than the Mark Zuckerberg / Facebook stereotype might imply.