Purpose– The purpose of this paper is to highlight the differences in terms of economic and financial performance, between family firms (FFs) and non-family firms (NFFs) in the wine sector in Italy and France, where this sector is one of the most representative national economic activities. Design/methodology/approach– This study is based on a sample of Italian and France companies operating in the wine sector. The sample, including medium and large firms, includes 288 FFs and 302 NFFs, for a total of 590 firms. Amadeus database represents the data source. According to Astrachan and Kolenko (1994), a firm is classified as a FF if family had to own over 50 per cent of the business in a private company or more than 10 per cent of a public company. Findings– This study confirms that the family variable is relevant to achieve good economic and financial performance, and endow firms with different features. In terms of economic performance, FFs both in Italy and France outperform in. terms of return on equity and return on assets, though only Italian NFFs outperform in earnings before interest and taxes. In terms of financial performance, both in Italy and France NFFs outperform FFs in current ratio and liquidity ratio, while FFs outperform in solvency ratio. Research limitations/implications– Limitations of the study concern the method adopted, as it could be integrated with some econometrical models. The implications of the paper are relevant for families and regulatory bodies because it helps them to better understand the effects of governance on economic and financial performance. Moreover, the findings of the study can influence the decision-making process of investors in order to identify the long-term outperformers listed on a stock exchange. Originality/value– This study contributes to the literature on family businesses phenomenon on wine sector, which represents one of the most representative of the economy of several countries and in which family businesses are widespread.
EuroMed Journal of Business – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 3, 2016