Written on 03 April 2015.
Latest EDHEC Research: Are Family Businesses Underleveraged?
With the position paper “Family Businesses and Debt: Shifting Towards a New Paradigm”, the EDHEC Family Business Centre and the EDHEC Financial Analysis and Accounting Research Centre invite family firms to revisit their assumptions about their debt ratios.
For both companies and for the academic world, determining the optimal level of debt can be likened to the quest for the Holy Grail. The financial and the economic crises which have been ongoing since 2008 have brought this subject back into the spotlight, given the increasing scarcity of financial resources and the reduced profitability levels of companies, which consequently reduce self-financing. Within this context, many family businesses, in the quest for growth, have found themselves facing a structural problem and asking the following question: Do the intrinsic characteristics of family businesses justify debt levels that are structurally lower than those of their non-family peers? Within the current context of historically low interest rates, are family businesses taking on sufficient debt? Are the classic paradigms on funding structure not more fragile within this new interest rate environment?
Please click here to download the position paper “Family Businesses and Debt: Shifting Towards a New Paradigm”, published by the EDHEC Family Business Centre and EDHEC Financial Analysis and Accounting Research Centre.