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Selling the Family Business

Is it time for the family and the business to go their separate ways?

This story appears in the February 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

What happens when a likely buyer offering big money approaches a family business? It's occurring more and more frequently these days because consolidators see great potential in buying up companies in industries where family businesses prevail.

Family businesses are sometimes so tempted by the initial offer, they look only at the traditional financial reasons why the sale makes good sense. The problem is, if you and your relatives share values, an awareness of the legacy of the business and common hopes for the future, then business motivations aren't the only reasons to think twice about selling the company, says Richard L. Narva of Genus Resources Inc., a family business consulting firm in Needham, Massachusetts.

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