Family Businesses and Succession

As Empresas Familiares e a Sucessão
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Family Businesses and Succession

The Portuguese business fabric is made up of a wide variety of companies, from small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) to large multinational companies. According to data from Portugal’s National Statistics Institute (INE), in 2019, there were around 1.1 million companies active in Portugal, of which the vast majority (around 98%) were micro, small and medium-sized companies.

According to INE, in 2020, the sectors with the largest number of companies were:

. Wholesale and retail trade;

. Repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles;

. Manufacturing industries;

. Construction;

. Real estate activities;

. Accommodation and catering.

In Portugal, the vast majority of SMEs are family businesses. These companies are generally controlled and managed by members of the same family, who hold the majority of the capital and are involved in the main business decisions. According to data from the Family Business Observatory, in 2020, around 89% of family businesses in Portugal were SMEs.

There are several large family businesses that play an important role in the national economy. Some of the largest family businesses in Portugal include:

 – Sonae: Founded in 1959 by Belmiro de Azevedo, Sonae is a retail investment company with a diversified business portfolio, which includes Sonae MC (which owns the Continente supermarket chain), Sonae Sierra (which manages shopping centers) and Sonae Capital (which invests in several areas, such as energy, tourism and real estate).</ p>

 – Jerónimo Martins: Founded in 1792, Jerónimo Martins is a retail company that operates mainly in the food sector. It owns the Pingo Doce supermarket chain and the international Biedronka group.

 – Mota-Engil: Founded in 1946 by António Manuel da Mota, Mota-Engil is one of the largest construction and engineering companies in Portugal, with a presence in several countries.

 – José de Mello: Founded in 1921, José de Mello is a business group with interests in several sectors, including energy, environment, health, mobility and logistics< /b>.

– Delta Cafés: Founded in 1961 by Rui Nabeiro, Delta Cafés is a coffee roasting and distribution company, which has become one of the brands best known in Portugal and in several international markets.

 – Pestana Hotel Group: Founded in 1972 by Dionísio Pestana, Pestana Hotel Group is one of the largest hotel companies in Portugal, with a presence in several countries . In addition to hotels, the group also has businesses in other areas, such as real estate, golf and casinos.

– Ramada Investimentos e Indústria: Founded in 1981 by Manuel Champalimaud, Ramada Investimentos e Indústria is a business group with interests in several areas, including tourism, real estate, energy and health. The group controls several companies, such as HPA Saúde (which operates private hospitals), ANA Aeroportos (which manages several airports in Portugal) and Luz Saúde (which operates clinics and hospitals).

Family businesses are an important element of the Portuguese business fabric, as they contribute significantly to the economy and job creation. However, family businesses face specific challenges, such as managing family conflicts and succession, which can affect their long-term success. Therefore, it is essential that family businesses adopt good management practices and carefully plan their succession to ensure business continuity.

Succession is one of the biggest challenges faced by family businesses. Some of the most common issues family businesses face in terms of succession include:

 – Family conflicts: Family businesses can face internal conflicts related to succession. There may be disagreements between family members regarding business strategies, the choice of successor or the role that each one should play in the company.

 – Lack of planning: Many family businesses do not plan succession in advance, which can lead to a disorganized and costly transition. The absence of a clear plan for success

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