Archives: Growth & Exit Strategies

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Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet: The Transformative Role of Millennials

Part III of our series on Shakespeare and Family-Owned Businesses takes us back to a familiar theme: managing succession in ownership and leadership in family-owned businesses. And we turn again to Lloyd Steier, Professor in the Department of Strategic Management and Organization at the University of Alberta School of Business and Director of the Alber… Continue Reading

The Shakespeare Series, Part 2: Hamlet, or How to Manage the Curious Generation

For fans of Shakespeare, our blog is taking a literary bent again. Our first Shakespeare post related the lessons from King Lear. Now we turn to Hamlet. We all know that one of the biggest struggles of a family business is surviving succession. According to Lloyd Steier, Professor in the Department of Strategic Management and Organization at the University … Continue Reading

2019 – The Year of Positive Planning

A few weeks have passed since the beginning of the New Year, and we suggest that it is time to check-in on your family business’ New Year’s resolutions. One resolution that should be on every family business’ list in 2019 is succession planning. According to the Conway Center for Family Business, each year around 70 percent of family businesses fail to … Continue Reading

Family Businesses and Tech – Leveling the Playing Field

There is a belief that family businesses are behind the curve when it comes to embracing new technology in the company structure. In a 2016 family business survey, 37 percent of the next generation say they struggle to get the business to understand the importance of having a digital strategy  That number rises to 43 percent in smaller family firms. (SurveyContinue Reading

Should a Family Business Consider an IPO as an Exit Strategy?

There are a multitude of ways to realize ownership transition–some simple, some complex, some a safe bet and some full of risks. For the ambitious, successful family-owned company that wants to make it to the big leagues, an initial public offering (IPO) as its succession planning tool, though unusual, may be worth consideration. (For a quick overv… Continue Reading

Event Recap: The 12 Most Common Mistakes to Avoid in Selling Your Business

DWT recently hosted “The 12 Most Common Mistakes to Avoid in Selling Your Business,” a seminar examining the common challenges affecting owners of family and closely held businesses on the subject of succession and estate planning. The seminar was led by a team of panelists, including DWT attorneys Keith Baldwin and Matt Loftin, Kristofer Gray with I… Continue Reading

Top Ten Seller Mistakes

In his recently published book, Perfect your Exit Strategy:  Seven Steps to Maximum Value, Seattle investment banker Thomas Metz highlights what he sees as the top ten mistakes made by sellers of businesses.  Family-owned businesses are not immune from these mistakes.  We present a brief summary of the list with Mr. Metz’s permission:

  1.  Confusing Pr
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The Difficulty of Succession Planning

Andrew Keyt is an internationally known family business strategist and succession planning expert.

On June 1st, 2016, the Wall Street Journal published an interview with Mr. Keyt that highlights some very honest difficulties of succession planning for businesses.

Mr. Keyt answers questions on how Millennials could impact the future of America’s … Continue Reading

Family Business in China – Is There A Succession Crisis?

In September, Gary Locke, former U.S. Ambassador to China, Secretary of Commerce and two-term Governor of the State of Washington, returned to Davis Wright Tremaine as a Senior Advisor.

Ambassador Locke’s return sparked a question among our attorneys about family business in China and how it compares to family business operations in the United States… Continue Reading

Valuing Interests in the Family Business

Let’s say…Eli Jordan founded Jordan Family Farms.  He now runs the business and each of his three children, Chris, Megan and Mark own a minority interest.  Chris decides he has other opportunities and wants to remove himself from the family business.  To do so, he must sell his interest.  What should Chris expect to receive for his interest?

On one l… Continue Reading

Deferred Payments and Earnouts – A Potential Source of Family Discord

Let’s assume you are selling the family business.  In order to get the best terms and price, you may not be able to negotiate the full purchase price in cash up front.  More likely, some portion of the purchase price will be placed in escrow for a period of time to secure any potential post-closing claims a buyer might have.  Also, some of the purchase price … Continue Reading

Leading the Family

Selling or transitioning a family business can be a daunting task – especially for those individuals trying to lead the process on behalf of their family. The challenges can result from the multiple owners and stake-holders of the business, the family dynamics that run through all conversations, and the greater or lesser psychological connection cert… Continue Reading

Guide to Company Exit Strategies

Our frequent partner in assisting family businesses, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, created a series – Realizing Shareholder Value: Private Company Exit Strategies – to help guide privately-held business owners in the development and execution of effective exit strategies. In this first installment of the series, the authors introduce some of the ba… Continue Reading

How to Exit Your Business Successfully

Family business owners all want a successful “exit,” but often fail to take timely action to ensure a successful transition. All too often, a lack of planning leads to less than desirable results, many times jeopardizing the continuation of the business. The comprehensive worksheet below is an excellent starting point for planning a successful exit… Continue Reading