Buy-outs in Family Businesses
In 2005, a fierce discussion raged over the question whether private equity companies make money by firing people or whether they really create value. Dr. Oliver Klöckner and I conducted the most comprehensive study on this topic by that time. Despite data restrictions, we concluded that despite job cuts in some companies financed by private equity, the general effect on employment was positive, net of all losses. Employment growth was particularly dynamic in bought-out family businesses and exceeded growth in all other types of companies backed by private equity companies. When presenting that study to politicians, media, and fellow scholars, we were repeatedly asked for an explanation for this exceptionally strong job creation in family businesses – a question we were unfortunately not able to answer back then. Against this background, Dr. Klöckner started his research project which resulted in this thesis. He inquired into the consequences of buy-outs in family businesses. In this thesis, he develops a comprehensive framework of analysis and bases his theoretical discussion on the comparison of the major theories for family businesses and private equity financed companies. In a detailed review of the literature, he contrasts the distinct characteristics of family businesses with the typical characteristics of bought-out companies. Based on this theoretical foundation, Dr. Klöckner conducted 32 personal interviews with managers of bought-out family businesses and investment managers backing these transactions.