New research centre to optimise the potential of owner-managed businesses


A DKK 22.8m grant from the Danish Industry Foundation paves the way for a new research centre at CBS that will develop specific tools and methods on how more Danish owner-managed businesses can achieve a successful transfer of ownership.


Comprising nearly eighty percent of businesses in Denmark, owner-managed companies are an important part of the DNA of the Danish business world. In the coming decade, ownership of approximately 25,000 businesses will transfer ownership to a new owner or group of owners. The aim of the Danish Industry Foundation’s grant for the CBS Centre for Owner-Managed Businesses (COMB) is to guarantee the creation of knowledge on how to ensure and implement the successful change of ownership in Denmark.

 “Denmark currently has no research-based knowledge or specific tools for guaranteeing the successful transfer of ownership,” explains the Danish Industry Foundation’s CEO Mads Lebech. “Sixteen thousand owner-managers are over the age of 65 and some of them have not yet considered the most suitable exit strategy for the transfer of ownership of their company that will take place within a short time. As a result, the goal of the Foundation’s grant is to provide Danish owner-managers access to individually tailored knowledge, tools and training in order to devise a suitable strategy for the change of ownership, regardless of whether that is to happen in one, five or ten years,” continues CEO Mads Lebech.

The DKK 22.8m grant from the Danish Industry Foundation provides the basis for establishing a world-leading knowledge environment for owner-managers, where consultants, organisations, owner-managers and buyers can find help and knowledge. Over the next five years, COMB will do research on Danish owner-managed businesses in order to examine what drives owner-managers and what their thoughts are concerning a future change of ownership. Based on this, specific tools and educational activities will be developed to assist more Danish owner-managers in achieving a successful transfer of ownership with the objective of maintaining jobs and production in Denmark.
“This significant grant given to CBS by the Danish Industry Foundation is a welcome opportunity to create a strong impact in an area of great importance for business. A large number of Danish companies are manager-owned and this will provide us with the opportunity to help them with some of the tough decisions they face,” says CBS President Per Holten-Andersen.

The centre will begin operations in the spring of 2014. The grant from the Danish Industry Foundation will cover the centre’s initial activities for the next five years and make it possible to attract top researchers, strengthen the data and help businesses to make decisions based on concrete facts. The research will be based on the analysis of registry data covering all Danish businesses as well as surveys undertaken among a large number of companies. The centre has entered into a partnership with the Wendel International Centre for Family Enterprise, the world-leading research centre on family businesses, at INSEAD. The opportunity to establish partnerships with the close advisors of owner-managers, including Danish accounting firms, also exists.
For more information, please contact:

The Danish Industry Foundation, CEO, Mads Lebech:, M: +45 20 94 90 46

CBS, Head of Department Professor Peter Møllgaard:, M: +45 21 62 20 15


The page was last edited by: Communications // 12/17/2017