Family Business Mediation Video No 40: Buying & Selling Interests in the Business. By Jon Kenfield.

Common Causes of Family Business Conflict & What to Do About Them.

Family Business Mediation Video No 40. Buying & Selling Interests In The Business.

By Jon Kenfield. Solutionist.

• Conflict occurs when family members feel locked into holding ownership in a family business against their wishes – they would prefer to sell / exit – and there’s no agreed mechanism for doing so.

• Conflicts also occur when family members can’t stitch up acceptable deals for trading their respective interests in the business.

• Conflict arises when some family members regard themselves as owners, and want to act as such, while others see themselves as stewards, and want to act as such.


• Does the family have a mechanism for buying and selling interests in the family business? Possible? Partly possible? Totally acceptable?

• If not, and it could happen, develop a formula and process when things are calm. Put it into a shareholder agreement / family constitution etc.

• Is it workable at this point in time (eg: money available, value and valuation formulas etc).

• Hold a Family meeting to discuss individual needs and wishes re ownership of the business.

• Negotiate / develop an acceptable basis for a deal (use a mediator if necessary).

• Do the deal, or agree to do it at a pre-determined time in the future.

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