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News from 2019-12-09 / KfW Research

SME succession in Germany

‘Mittelstand’ needs 152,000 successors by the end of 2021 – external investors wanted

There has been a slight drop in the number of upcoming SME successions in Germany. Around 152,000 owners of SMEs want to transfer their business to a successor by the end of 2021. This is illustrated by recent data of the KfW SME Panel. One reason for the recent drop is that business starters have been showing greater interest in taking over existing SMEs. Besides, more enterprises already have a succession plan. Succession within the family continues to lose importance. On the other hand, there is an increasing demand for external buyers. Owners’ price expectations have also increased again. Looking ahead, demographic change will increase the need for successors. A growing number of SME owners who are ready for a transfer will be facing a shrinking number of potential successors. There are not enough emerging entrepreneurs to take over existing businesses.

SME succession in Germany: ‘Mittelstand’ needs 152,000 successors by the end of 2021 – external investors wanted (PDF, 186 KB, non-accessible)


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Economic Research

Economic Research

Economic development in Germany and around the world, studies on topics relevant to society such as environmental and climate protection, demography, globalisation, innovation and sustainability, impact of KfW promotional programmes.

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