Why Family Business Owners Should Expect The Unexpected Offer. Watch news Why Family Business Owners Should Expect The Unexpected Offer.
By Richard Sine
Many business owners assume that they’ll own their business until they die. Then reality gets in the way: Perhaps their health turns poor. Or they’re caught unaware by a big change in the industry. Or they require a big investment in technology to stay competitive but can’t raise the money single-handedly.
That’s when a phone call from the right potential buyer can feel like a lifesaver.
When planners at Northern Trust conducted a series of interviews with their own clients, they found that it was often an unexpected offer that triggered the sale of a family business. But the result can mean that owners go into a sale without having properly gauged its effect on their tax planning, their estate planning or their family.
More Money, More Questions
A sale to an outsider can often bring a great windfall, as well as a tidy reward for years of hard work. But it can also raise a lot of questions. Is the sale price high enough? Could a sale drive a family apart? And how will the family react to a sudden influx of cash?
Selling with confidence requires a lot of advance planning, says Charles Mueller, Trust and Advisory Services practice executive at Northern Trust.