Contested takeovers of family firms and socioemotional wealth : a case study

Kevin Campbell , Magdalena Jerzemowska


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to provide an understanding of the importance of socioemotional wealth (SEW) to family firms in Poland viewed through the lens of the events surrounding the first hostile takeover bid of the post-communist era on the Warsaw Stock Exchange when the clothing company Vistula&Wólczanka (V&W) made an unsolicited, leveraged bid for the family-controlled jewelry company W. Kruk.

Design/methodology/approach – The 2008 takeover and its aftermath are described in the context of the corporate governance and legal environment in Poland. The case study events demonstrate the connection between firm behavior and SEW theory.

Findings – After the acquisition of W. Kruk by V&W, the Kruk family purchased stock in the newly named Vistula Group and gained influence over the supervisory board in concert with a business ally, eventually wresting back control of the company in the style of a Pac-Man “defense.” The case study illustrates the importance of SEW in family firm takeovers.

Research limitations/implications – The case study design has limitations for generalizability. Nevertheless the research highlights the important role of SEW preservation in understanding the market for corporate control of listed family firms in Poland.

Practical implications – Understanding the reaction by family firms to takeover bids requires recognition that there is a tradeoff between financial and SEW considerations, not just financial gains and losses.

Originality/value – The case study demonstrates the importance of SEW to family firms and suggests that the balance of power in takeovers on the Polish stock market rests with incumbent management.

Author Kevin Campbell
Kevin Campbell,,
, Magdalena Jerzemowska (FM / DCF)
Magdalena Jerzemowska,,
- Department of Corporate Finance
Journal seriesBaltic Journal of Management, ISSN 1746-5265, (A 15 pkt)
Issue year2017
Publication size in sheets0.7
Keywords in Englishfamily business, corporate governance, agency theory, socioemotional wealth, takeovers, Pac-Man defense
ASJC Classification1405 Management of Technology and Innovation; 1406 Marketing; 1407 Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management; 1408 Strategy and Management; 1403 Business and International Management
Languageen angielski
Score (nominal)15
Score sourcejournalList
ScoreMinisterial score = 15.0, 28-01-2020, ArticleFromJournal
Publication indicators WoS Citations = 0; Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2017 = 0.758; WoS Impact Factor: 2017 = 1.149 (2) - 2017=1.103 (5)
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* presented citation count is obtained through Internet information analysis and it is close to the number calculated by the Publish or Perish system.
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