When private equity firms look at acquiring family-owned and operated businesses, their best laid plans can be thwarted if they ignore the personal dynamics at play.
It’s only natural that private equity firms would be attracted to family-owned and operated businesses, especially ones that are successful but have plateaued. These enterprises can have terrific fundamentals but need precisely the capital and operational expertise that GPs bring to the table. But today, those firms need to do more than clean up a balance sheet and upgrade the operations. They have to drive growth.
The challenge is that driving growth at family-owned companies requires extra time to discover the key influencers inside that business and win their support, with a compelling message that allows them to embrace change. If that was easy to do, the owners would have improved their business already and wouldn’t be looking to partner with a private equity firm in the first place.