To Sell or Not To Sell? A Family Owned Manufacturing Company
A family owned manufacturing company had found tremendous success in innovative product development for both the trucking and consumer goods industry. They had grown rapidly over a ten year period expanding their plant as their product line increased. The CEO was struggling with managing too many areas of the business, wanting to retire, which of his children should take over the business, how to train them, whether to sell it and if so, how to maximize its value. The client asked MLC to come in as an Executive Coach and thought partner to learn the business and help the CEO develop a plan to clarify and pursue the right goals for himself, his family, and employees.
MLC first went through a thorough a systematic process of understanding the business and its history. A diagnostic study was performed to understand “the current state” of the organization, its management team, uncover hidden issues and develop a comprehensive picture of how the company was currently operating. From there, the CEO was led through a detailed facilitation process to discover what his real goals for the business were, what he wanted to do after he retired, what skills and interest each family member had in the long- term operation of the business. After much open discussion with his family, his executive team and personal soul searching, the CEO determined he did not want to retire full time. His passion was still in the business, he wanted to continue to be involved, but unload the heavy responsibility of day- to-day operations and management. Informational interviews led to the understanding from his sons that they were unsure if they wanted to be involved long term – but did want to continue to grow the business currently. A new long-term Vision was established that they would continue to operate the company with increased responsibilities turned over by their father. Within the next 5 years, a decision about selling the business would be made.
As a result of these strategic decisions, MLC perform a full-scale review of the business and develop both strategic and tactical plans to maximize corporate value in preparation of sale.
A thorough analysis of the product lines sales, profitability, market and product innovation processes would be conducted. In the interim, a current plan was put in place to divide the CEOʼs responsibility between his sons based on their areas of expertise and interest. A training plan was set in place and deadlines for passing responsibilities were established.
MLC continued to advise the CEO and lead the change management process. Within four months the sons were managing a majority of the operations and a comprehensive two-year plan to maximize the value of the company in preparation for sale was in place.