May/June 2018

In this issue

  • A buyout without bitterness

    What began as a more or less regular gathering of the four Flanagan brothers for high-level discussions about ownership of their business took a new turn in the fall of 2012. Two of the siblings, Murray and Rick, said they wanted to look into selling their shares in Flanagan Foodservice.

    Their brothers weren’t surprised. They knew Murray and Rick had thought about leaving the business and had chatted about what else they might do.

    The ABCs of PE

    Private equity investors know good opportunities when they see them. And right now, their eyes are trained on family enterprises.

    Family offices: 'Quiet capital'

    Private equity and strategic buyers aren’t the only suitors pursuing family businesses today.

    Family offices, those low-key organizations formed to manage the wealth of ultra-high-net-worth families, are discreetly wooing business families who might be interested in selling a stake.

    Private equity pros and cons

    The way Charles Kittredge sees it, private equity took his family’s company, Crane Currency, to a new level. That’s saying a lot for a business that’s been around for 217 years.

    Creating shareholder liquidity: A checklist before going public

    There is now a real investor desire, and even a need, for strong companies to be in the public markets. According to a May 2017 Ernst & Young report, the number of domestically incorporated U.S. listed companies dropped by more than 45% between 1996 and 2016. The amount of cash liquidity in the U.S. banking system is $2.2 trillion, according to Federal Reserve economic data (Dec. 7, 2017).

    Going public can be the capstone accomplishment of a long and successful career.

  • Family business members' insights on navigating succession process

    Running a family business can be complicated. This is especially true when it comes to preparing for a smooth transition of ownership, leadership and governance to the next generation. What is the best way to start?

    While much has been written and studied around succession and continuity planning, the way forward isn’t always clear or easy to manage, particularly since there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

    As leaders of a recent a peer-to-peer workshop for family business owners and stakeholders, we explored the importance of creating and updating a succession plan.

  • Succession plans must incorporate liquidity planning for the family

    The path from starting up a business to planning your exit is a winding one, with plenty of speed bumps and potholes. One of the biggest potholes results from the failure to include liquidity planning as part of the business succession planning process.

    As part of the preparations to sell the company or pass it on to a family member, a business owner should develop a wealth management strategy that minimizes taxes.

  • Turning sweet prunes into smooth skin

    Sure, you’ve heard of making lemonade out of lemons. How about making skincare products out of plums?

    The Taylor family in California is doing just that. Fourth-generation sisters Jacqueline, Allison and Elaine Taylor wanted to join plum grower Taylor Brothers Farms, but their interests stretched beyond marketing the produce itself.

  • Celebration Corner: U.S. Engineering Company's 125th anniversary

    The Business: Gustav Nottberg established Nottberg Iron and Machine Works in Kansas City, Mo., in 1893, several years after immigrating to the United States from Cologne, Germany. Nottberg had opened a one-man machine shop in his native country in 1855.

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