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Minority shareholders need a way to exit

Shareholders who are trapped in an investment from which they cannot escape will never be happy. Creative family business leaders have found ways for minority owners to exit by providing a family bank that will make loans by taking the stock as collateral or by reserving money to buy out unhappy shareholders at a price based on the performance of public companies in similar industries.

Regardless of what an appraiser may say about the value of the company, if a minority shareholder can never turn his or her stock into cash, the stock may be of no "real" value. Although the emotional legacy tied up in the piece of paper representing the stock might have been valuable to one generation, its value diminishes over time while the likelihood of problems increases.

“Reforms reduce tension among minority owners,” by Henry C. Krasnow, Family Business Magazine, January/February 2013

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