Family businesses are not immune to the effects of the recession, but the tough conditions have not made them more inclined to sell up, according to the results of the Campden FB/Mishcon de Reya survey into attitudes to the economic climate.
A majority of family business leaders said trading conditions are neither very good nor very bad, placing them exactly in the middle of the scale. However, the difference between the early to mid-point results and the final results seem to confirm that there has been some improvement in the economy since the survey began and business leaders are now both more confident and more likely to acquire new businesses.
Despite the challenging times – in which 54% of family businesses have made redundancies and 27% of families have seen an increase in tensions between active and passive shareholders – the majority of respondents said they had no plans to sell the business.
Jonathan Berman, partner in the Families in Business Group at Mischon de Reya, said: "The survey results demonstrate a subtle, albeit definite, shift in mindset over the last three months away from pessimism to a more cautious optimism.
"What is clear is that, despite the current economic climate, there is an incredible sense of stability within family businesses with almost nine out of 10 respondents wishing to continue their business under its present ownership and with very few, less than 4%, expressing a desire to sell," Berman added.
The full survey results, along with analysis from Campden FB and in-depth comment from Mishcon de Reya will be released tomorrow on www.campdenFB.com. If you are not already registered for full online access and to receive our weekly newsletter click here.
The results have also been analysed from a geographic perspective and reveal: the global nature of the recession; why family businesses in the Asia Pacific region are more actively seeking acquisitions; and why families in North and South America are more likely to sell their businesses than anywhere else.
The Campden FB/Mishcon de Reya survey ran from May to August 2009, spanning a period of continuing economic uncertainty for businesses across the globe. Respondents came from five continents and were typically CEOs (in their second generation and above) of family businesses with revenues in excess of €/$100 million.
For more information on the survey or Mischon de Reya click here