What conditions have you, as owners, afforded each other to create both a professional as well as a harmonious owner climate? Developing and running an owner-managed company has its challenges and it is crucial that the owners collaborate in a way that creates harmony and stability in the daily operations. If you (as a group of owners) cannot agree on ownership matters, how can you then expect to be clear to the board, management and organization? And if this is unclear, how can you then agree on which business you want to develop, which is your highest priority and why certain matters are of greater importance to you in the long-term?
The Owner Agenda aims to create unity and clarity in matters of ownership and is divided into three collaborating parts:
Owner ambition – describes which specific goals the owners have linked to their ambition, what the time frame looks like, and which milestones indicate that we are on the right path.
Owner plan – sets the size, scale and necessary steps for achieving the owner ambition: What ownership goals do we have? What does the time frame look like? And again, which milestones indicate that we are on the right path?
Owner directive – provides the board and CEO with the framework and guidelines for how the owners want the business to be managed and developed.
When you, as an operational owner run and develop your business, a plan for ownership succession rarely has high priority. Obviously, the focus is on creating a well-functioning and profitable company with a strong emphasis on operational issues. Many company owners therefore, avoid the issue of succession a little too long and sometimes make decisions about a change of ownership at short notice and with insufficient documentation. Having an idea or plan for what a future ownership of the company may look like not only creates value, but also provides the right prerequisites for handling the matter optimally for all of the owners and not least for the company.
Different ways to go
Depending on what the ownership structure looks like today – together with future conditions - there are a number of different possibilities for how a change of ownership can take shape. The starting point then, revolves around what the majority owners ambitions are, the time frame, as well as the ultimate goal for the change of ownership. Here are some examples:
- Sale to a new external owner
- Generational change within the family
- Spreading of ownership within the organization
- Ownership concentration
- MBO - Management Buyout
- Private placement
- Listing (IPO)
Regardless of the timing of when a change of ownership may become relevant, there is value in creating the perception and overall plan for ensuring a professional ownership and a harmonious ownership climate.
Censor therefore, has developed a specific process for Ownership Planning and succession matters. This process aims to create a unified group of owners who share a clear goal that leads to increased attractiveness for the company on the day you want to either change the ownership set up or sell the business.