Hidden Champions and SMEs: Success through a succession

Expertise Hidden Champions

Only recently we were able to conclude a successful company acquisition. Our involvement was on the buyer’s side, but when the family-run SME was handed over, a satisfactory outcome was found for both parties. We are pleased to have been part of this process and summarize our key findings for you once again.

Our most important learnings

  • The psychological component of the original owner must not be underestimated. In most cases, there is more to the company than meets the eye of an outsider. The most important thing here is to consciously seek out the conversation and to refute possible fears and concerns as best as possible. One must not forget that the other party has built up the company himself and that it is difficult to leave such a life’s work to someone else.
  • As a consultant, one is naturally very quickly involved in the matter of a company acquisition or a succession handover. But not so the clients. Here it is often overlooked that they are going through such a process for the first time – that is why a precise and comprehensible explanation of the mechanics of the process and the conclusion of a purchase price as well as a standard contract is important.
  • A great deal of sensitivity is required not only in the preparation, but also in the negotiation and in the process itself. Especially in such transfers, personal factors play an incredibly large role. Identifying these before the negotiations helps both sides – seller and buyer.
  • In order for the process of handing over a company to run smoothly, each side must be well prepared for the negotiation(s). Ad-hoc generation of information and detailed and clear documentation of procedures and processes are particularly helpful in this respect. All of these documents are also quite relevant for a subsequent analysis and complement one’s own wealth of experience.


It is important to listen carefully to the clients in order to include possible (also personal) hidden agendas in the planning and to be able to react to them.
If you have any further information on the topic of business succession, company acquisition, M&A or succession of SMEs and family businesses, we are at your disposal. 


Are you planning to hand over or sell your business?