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The world's 50 fastest growing family businesses

The world economy may be suffering some serious problems, but many family businesses are growing faster than ever. Which family businesses are likely to challenge for the top positions in the years ahead? CampdenFB lists the top 50.
Which are the fastest growing family businesses?

At the time of writing, traders’ screens around the world are turning a nasty shade of red. Stock markets are plummeting everywhere and there is much talk of developed economies slipping back into recession.

You would be forgiven for wondering if it might be a good time to retreat to a cave with a weapon and a crate of tinned food. But away from the trading floors, there is another story about the world economy - one that moves more slowly and involves fewer people panicking, and so gets less attention.

CampdenFB’s list, supported by Ernst & Young, of the fastest growing 50 family businesses, shows a sector flourishing. The top spot is occupied by Argentina’s IMPSA, a manufacturer of renewable energy technology, whose revenues increased 115% between 2008 and 2010. A Brazilian company takes second place followed by – amazingly, given the state of the UK economy – a British construction company, Willmott Dixon.

It’s a global story and in a troubled world, families are doing it for themselves. And it’s working pretty well. To rank the companies, CampdenFB looked at revenue growth in local currency during the three-year period from 2008 until the end of 2010. The methodology is given below.

To be included in the list, businesses must have met all the criteria listed below:

  • At least one representative of the family is formally involved in the governance of the firm;
  • Listed companies meet the definition of family enterprise if the person who established or acquired the firm or their families or descendants possess at least 20% of the decision-making rights mandated by their share capital;
  • The share capital controlled by the family is at least in the second generation or beyond;
  • All companies had revenues of no more than €5 billion;
  • The revenues figure were either publicly available or made available to us.
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