In this issue
In the annals of American business there are many notable families who have successfully built companies—sometimes over generations. Unfortunately, families are often less successful when it comes time to sell those businesses and maximize value.
The reasons are varied. Some are unique to family businesses. Others are pitfalls that can beset any businessperson who is adept at running an enterprise but not necessarily at selling it.
The weak economy is the greatest obstacle to M&A activity, according to 45% of the investment bankers, private equity professionals, corporate development executives, lawyers, accountants and business consultants polled.
Source: Association for Corporate Growth-
Thomson Reuters Mid-Year 2008 DealMakers Survey.
68% of middle-market merger professionals say the current market is a buyer’s market.
This past year, several high-profile family business mergers and acquisitions made headlines—and highlighted issues that can surface when a family firm is on the block.
Thomas Carlyle infamously dubbed economics “the dismal science.” The dubious title came in response to Thomas Malthus’ 18th-century theory that human population would rapidly outpace food production and we would all starve to death. But if we’re all still here, why does the tag stick? One could argue that it does because economics at its core is all about making decisions (some of them tough ones), and people by nature do not like making difficult decisions.