According to The Times of London , private equity ownership of manufacturers is on the rise in he U.K.. Private investment firms now own £83 billion, or $139.4 billion at current exchange rates, worth of U.K. companies which they will reportedly be trying to unload to appease investors. In 1998 the value of U.K. companies owned by private equity firms was £23.4 billion.

Dunlop Slazenger is reportedly one of the companies up for sale, and is expected to be purchased by a private equity firm. The company, currently owned by the Royal Bank of Scotland, is expected to fetch about £50 million, or $84.0 million. Sports Executive Weekly reported last week (SEW_0341) that Umbro is also on the block and expected to fetch around £250- £300 million ($420-$500 million).

These developments are not sitting well with many U.K. analysts, who have gone on the record saying private equity firms need to demonstrate to investors they can sell manufacturers as well as buy them. If not, investors will think twice about where they put their money.