Company successions in the region of Stuttgart
In the last two decades, the topic of company successions appeared again and again in the focus of public attention. More recently, some authors and institutions claim that there is an intensification of the succession problem resulting from the demographic change. In 2012, the Chambers of Industry and Commerce (IHKs) advised 14% more senior-entrepreneurs with regard to a potential succession than in the year before, according to a DIHK report on company successions. At the same time, 14% less founders of new businesses could imagine to take over a business. In 2010, every existing company owner advised by the IHK faced 1.6 possible successors, but in 2012 this relation decreased to nearly 1.
In the innovative and economically strong metropolitan region of Stuttgart, the topic of generational change is an important issue for many medium-sized family owned businesses. Numerous companies in the region might be faced with the threat of shut-downs if no suitable successors can be found in due time.
Against this background, the aim of this study was to address the issue of company succession with a particular regional focus and to identify specific chances and challenges within the region. The study is based on both quantitative analyses as well as guided interviews with regional experts.
The study yields that the regional economic structure and the technological spcialization are particular challenges with regard to company successions. The numerous medium-sized, family-owned and technology-based firms in the region have to address the issue with the best care and attention. The economic strength of the region implies an elevated attractiveness of the region on the one hand, but it can also be an obstacle for potential successors due to high costs on the other hand.