Anticipated federal tax hike may spur divestitures, Hannah says

Jul 22, 2010 | 01:16 PM | Frank Haflich

Expectations of higher federal taxes in 2011 might lead some service center owners to sell their businesses this year rather than wait for them to reach a higher market value as the economy recovers further, Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co.'s top executive speculated this week.

David H. Hannah, chairman and chief executive officer of the Los Angeles-based national distribution chain, noted that there's a general anticipation of higher tax rates at the start of next year—presumably as cuts in capital gains and other taxes enacted during the Bush administration run out. He suggested this could prompt some business owners who otherwise might hold out for the absolute highest price to reconsider, since waiting past this year might mean they'll be able to "sell their business for....

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