Transitioning the family business to the next generation
Watch the Basiles, a third generation business family with employees in the 4th generation, operating Catania Spagna Corporation, based in Massachusetts, USA, explain how they have been preparing for at least five years in transitioning ownership of the family business to the next generation.
Content TypeFamily Business Interviews
IndustryFood & Beverage
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Without the family there is no business, without the business there is no family. My dad’s succession plan was basically to gift the company to his children because we were all working here, it is not that someone was working at another facility somewhere or at a professional level and just holding the stock of the company. He saw that we were all working here and he gifted the corporation to all of us equally.
We have been approached by several companies for acquisition. And we have decided no every single time, that this business belongs to the fourth generation. And again where can I go every day and see my children? Where can my brother go everyday and see his children? That is a plus as far as I am concerned.
To have someone come in and ... View More take what you have, it is just, there is no price you can put on it. If my brother and I were by ourselves it would be fine but it does not make sense to do it. Let them take the ball now and let them build what we built and ten times of what we have done.
I am gifting stock as we speak today to the six children. My succession planning, my brother and I, actually we’ve talked about it with our finance people and we have decided that somewhere around the age of social security benefits coming in, we would be backing off, but probably to look at a consulting type of position.
That has been going on now for probably close to five years where you know my father has you know evaluated things on his end and just as the company was basically given to him and his brother and sisters, he wants the same for his children. Now I cannot speak for you know, the other owners of the business you know, Robert and Ann, but I believe their desires are the same thing, to basically pass on the company to the fourth generation. So, we have been working already you know, with attorneys on you know, estate planning and gifting stock, and my father’s already gifted I would probably say maybe 20% of his ownership onto his you know, his children. And he, that is his passion, he wants to be able to give, basically the business to his children.
I have two children, one son, one daughter; my son is working with the company now. He seems to be enjoying it very much so. He always wanted to part of the company. My daughter who is now a senior in high school wants to go onto pre-med. So she really does not want to be part of the company right now, that is her idea that she’d really like to go into her own field. Tony, yearly would as they got older and came nearer and nearer to the possibility, would sit down and talk with them. We would have family meetings about what might be, what is in the future and so on like that. My son wanted to come into the business; my daughter did not, that is fine.
We encourage them to work in a related position, like my daughter worked for our broker, my son worked for our broker, and my other son worked at another position. And what had happened is that they got that outside experience and they really really came back here with more fire to see this, to be in charge here because they realize what it is to work for yourself versus working for someone else.
My brother and I, Stephen, we have talked about it and you know we want our chance to take the company to the next few levels. And you know, we are in a sense running the business today on a daily basis, and we are in the very early stages of say, putting our mark on things. And you know, we are going to do what is right for the business and for the family but you know, do not want to be shorted in the sense in terms of that opportunity for the fourth generation either. It is not so responsibility, more of you know a desire to carry on the you know, the family you know torch and put your, you know mark on this place.
You got to make sure that this is what you want to do, and it has to come from your heart to want to, to work. It is desire, it is dedication, it is sacrifice, it is the vision that you want to see any type of business you are in no matter what it is, you want to see growth and you want to pass it on to the next generation.
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