Roger Bootle, the founder of Capital Economics and columnist for The Daily Telegraph, has appointed advisers to prepare a sale of the business in a deal that could land him a windfall of up to £50m.
Mr Bootle, who owns 68pc of Capital Economics, has retained corporate finance firm Quayle Munro to work on a strategic review. The former HSBC chief economist, who started the independent consultancy in 1999, is thought to have been looking at selling up since turning 60 in June last year.
Capital Economics has been growing rapidly, last year making a profit before tax of £4.9m. It had £3.6m of capital and £4.2m of net cash. Consultancies can attract multiples of more than 10 times earnings in a sale, which would value the business at around £70m.
Mr Bootle has taken out £1.7m in pay and dividends in each of the past two years. A sale would also see big paydays for senior economists Jonathan Loynes, who holds 14pc of the stock, and Julian Jessop, who has a 7pc stake. Staff own the rest.