Case Number: 5-107-012(A), Year Published: 2007
HBS Number: KEL369
Family Business, Entrepreneurship, Small Business, Succession Planning, SWOT Analysis, Shareholder Value, Leadership
A married couple who have a successful industrial B2B business evaluate whether or not to sell the business to two of their offspring, who are both entrepreneurial MBA graduates. Complicating factors include the fact that the sale price and structure need to finance the couple’s retirement and give fair inheritance treatment to the remaining siblings. In addition, the father has had some health issues and the business is doing well, so there is a lot of forward momentum to sell to the next generation.
Evaluate whether or not, and how, to keep a business founded and run by entrepreneurs as a family business into the sibling generation. Explore “escalation of commitment” and how it influences decisions to keep the business in the family or not.
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