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Exit Strategy for European Aging Business Owners



Until recently, search funds were almost exclusively a North American phenomenon, with about 200 successful purchases in the U.S. and Canada. But in recent years, they have expanded, first into the United Kingdom and then Europe, Africa, Asia, and Latin America…Search funds may find especially fertile ground in Europe, with its aging generation of baby boomer business owners, shortage of family successors, and aversion to traditional private equity buyers.

“According to the Institut für Mittelstandsforschung (in English, the SME Research Institute) in Bonn, Germany, about 130,000 German small and medium sized businesses will look for successors between 2014 and 2018. And in Spain, there are some 47,000 businesses that fit the search fund model well—10 or more employees and over 20 years old.”

Ian Mount,

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