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Ten unusual businesses that you could have bought

Could you handle this? Then why not buy a crocodile farm?You can buy all sorts of businesses. The more 'normal' companies on offer usually include pubs, restaurants, shops and more. But if you wanted to invest your money in something a little different, dig a bit further and you can find all sorts.

Website BusinessesForSale.com lists thousands of available companies. We asked them to tell us about some of the more unusual businesses that have featured on the site. Here are some of the best:

Prison ship in Hawaii
A life on the ocean wave sounds idyllic - but in this case life really means life! In 2000 a Russian ship was converted into a floating prison, moored in Hawaii and advertised for $1.75m. It was unclear as to whether inmates were included in the sale price.

Chinese toll road
A Chinese toll road appeared for $28 million in 2002. The road was 100KM long and the toll charges were between $3 and $5 per car. With China projected to have 140 million automobiles plying its roads by 2020 there seemed plenty of opportunity to recoup the initial investment.

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Clocks and crocs

World’s oldest clockmaker
Clockmakers Thwaites & Reed of London were established in 1740. In 2000 the business found its way onto BusinessesForSale.com. As the world’s oldest clock maker, the company was entrusted with the maintenance of important clocks, including Big Ben.

Quote�There were ostriches, bears and monkeys included in the sale.�End Quote

Crocodile farm in Thailand
This appeared in 2005 for $450,000. Located 100km north of Bangkok, the farm was used as a breeding centre for crocodiles and as a zoo. In addition to breeding over 2,000 crocodiles a year, there were ostriches, bears and monkeys included in the sale.

Welsh beach
In 2002 the sale of a beach in Wales was picked up by TV shows and the press. Located in Pembrokeshire, it included an ice cream shop and beach chalets, and was available for �377,750.

Gold mine in Montana
In 2001 'Gold Fever' hit BusinessesForSale.com with the sale of a genuine gold and silver mine in Montana, promising considerable tonnages of ore including gold, silver and quartz. All you needed was a shovel, a dishpan and $900,000.

Stinging and swimming?

Tasmanian honey farm
In 2005 buyers were given the opportunity to acquire their own honey farm overlooking the Bas Straits in Tasmania. Over 2000 hives produced 150 tons of honey annually. Prospective purchasers were asked to bring their own jars and $1.5 million.

A British pier
In 2005, Lowestoft’s historic Claremont Pier appeared for sale for �2.8m. No historical icon is complete without its resident ghost and the successful purchaser of the Claremont Pier also acquired their own spirit - in the form a woman in a long fur coat and hat.

Quote�This was a chance to own a tropical island in the South Pacific.�End Quote

Tropical island in the South Pacific
For the ultimate playboy this was a chance to own a tropical island in the South Pacific. The beautiful island of Mala in Tonga contained 24 acres of sandy beaches and palm woods. The assets included thatched bungalows, a restaurant and a cave - all for �550,000!

Kenyan dolphin holiday experience
Everybody’s dream – apparently. A business organising swimming trips with dolphins in Kenya went onto the market for $508,000 in 2003. The business came with a holiday cottage and a four bedroom house overlooking a beach. Dolphins were not included.

What next?

Check out our step-by-step guide to buying a business.

You can search for suitable businesses, and get more advice about buying a company from BusinessesForSale.com.

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