Paul Sullivan, Wealth Matters, NY Times (February 12, 2021): The Question Some Company Owners Don’t Want to Deal With

Paul Sullivan’s weekly New York Times Wealth Matters column shares a story of a son who is struggling to continue his family business to shed light on the importance of succession planning. His article, “The Question Some Company Owners Don’t Want to Deal With,” begins as follows:

Ivo Puidak, who cooked for Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan as the head chef at the Federal Reserve Bank in Chicago, built the Galena Canning Company into a thriving specialty food business, selling premium barbecue sauces, salsas and seasonings around the country.

But Mr. Puidak, who based his business in Galena, Ill., a resort town about 160 miles west of Chicago, never put a succession plan in place, not even after he learned he had cancer in 2017 and was given only a few months to live. Neither his wife, Shelly, nor their only child, Max, wanted to take over the business, so the family decided to sell. The sale was set to close on March 30, 2020. But two weeks before it could go through, Mr. Puidak died.

At the same time, the pandemic brought shutdown orders in Illinois, and the company’s sales plummeted 90 percent in April. The buyer’s financing fell through, and the deal, which had been 13 days from closing, was postponed indefinitely.

By September, Ms. Puidak, who was retired and had never worked in the business, was ready to liquidate the company. “When things went downhill, they went down quickly,” said Max Puidak, who was working in New York at a start-up when his father died.

To see the full article, click: “The Question Some Company Owners Don’t Want to Deal With.”

Posted by Bella Hoang, Managing Associate Editor, Wealth Strategies Journal.

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