UK family businesses not passed down

The proportion of UK family businesses being given over to third parties is more than double that of Germany, France and Italy, according to new figures.

A study comparing the growth of 4,000 companies in the three large European countries with those of the UK – Evolution of Family Capitalism – reveals that 30 per cent of major UK family firms stayed under the ownership of relatives during the period between 1996 and 2006, Families in Business reports.

In comparison, 71 per cent of family businesses in Italy, 59 per cent of firms in France and 53 per cent of those based in Germany remained under the control of the same family.

The news provider reveals that 42 per cent of UK family businesses were taken over and 28 per cent were transferred into widely-held businesses, researchers found.

Grant Gordon, director-general of the Institute for Family Business – which commissioned the report, comments: ‘The sector is a spawning ground for the capital markets with growing family firms feeding through to the Stock Exchange as businesses seek to develop.’

According to the PricewaterhouseCoopers Family Business Survey 2007-08, almost half of family businesses have no succession plan and one-third had had conflicts over future strategy.

See also: Growing a family business

Related Topics

Family businesses