Family businesses ‘more willing to go for growth’

FAMILY businesses are more open to expansion by acquisition or in emerging international markets than other private sector companies, according to research.

A survey by KPMG compared the responses to its Business Leaders report from family businesses with the private sector averages, and it showed that 35% of family businesses, as opposed to an average of 30%, plan to grow through transactions, and 26%, compared to an average of 21%, will be exploring emerging markets.

Nick Pheasey, private client director at KPMG in the North West, said:
“For many family businesses, maintaining the value of the firm for future generations is paramount and, given the slow growth of European economies, it makes sense that these businesses are looking for opportunities in the double-digit growth economies of the East and Africa, or considering the potential of an acquisitive strategy.

“Their independence and ability to take a long term perspective means family businesses are arguably better able to make such forward looking investments than businesses that must dance to the tune of external stakeholders.

“The North West is blessed with a strong cadre of growth-oriented family businesses that highlight our survey findings. Take, for example, Liverpool’s Bibby Line Group, or Warrington-based recruitment company Fircroft Engineering Services which has recently announced new operations in Brazil.”

Other major family businesses in the region include Warburtons,  Booths Supermarkets and TJ Morris – operator of the Home Bargains discount chain.

KPMG has recently entered a strategic partnership with the Institute of Family Business. According to the IFB the three million family businesses in the UK account for 66% of our small and medium sized enterprise (SME) population, provide 9.2 million jobs, and in 2010 made a £346bn value-added contribution to UK GDP.