What should Wal Footrot do: An investigation into potential exit strategy for owners in the sheep and beef sector.

Executive Summary

  • The purpose of this study is to look at what options exist for owners of farm businesses in the sheep/beef sector to ‘exit’ either; their role or ownership in the business. This is not an investigation into the overall succession topic, more a look at one of the key parts of the process.
  • Where are we today
    • The ownership base of the farming businesses in the New Zealand Red Meat sector are getting older. They say with age comes experience, but in this case, it is not a good thing.
    • As the owners get older that are not planning any better , and making it harder for the next generation to get a step on the management and ownership rungs of the ladder.
    • At the same time, we are seeing only small improvements in profits when compared to value of the land that those profits are generated from.
  • Navigation is not easy The family business is complicated, especially as it gets larger and intergenerational. This does not include the increasing pressure that gets applied for the cost of compliance and larger variations in climate. Every business owner is in a different position, but they are getting older and need to act to drive our industry forward.
  • It is possible Families and owners have navigated, and are navigating their ways through this exit and succession road. It can be done, there are options . Everyone is different and often big decisions must be made.
  • The options exist , whether it be: Change the existing model , or Lease out , or Sell or Equity partnerships . There are options that are all better than Status Quo. Follow the suggestions and take some advice.
  • There are people to help – it may cost, but what is the cost of doing no thing ? Use the family, friends, mentors, professionals like valuers, advisors, lawyers and accountants to help by discussing the issues and determining the best way forward.
  • Use a ‘Mantra’ or guidelines to assist in the journey. OODA may be suit – Observe, Orient, Decide , Act. Or the

3 questions –

  1. Where are you and how did you get here?
  2. Where are you heading, do you want to go there? If not, then where?
  3. What must you do different or better and learn, to get there?

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