Transeo Working Groups

One of Transeo's missions is to exchange good practices in different areas of business transfer, in order to improve business transfer conditions at European scale and develop the expertise of its Members.

For who? Only Transeo Members can take part in Working Groups.

Current working groups

  • Working group Business Transfer Ecosystems: Business transfer ecosystems refer to the stakeholders and their interactions active in a given region or country to support transfers and acquisitions of SMEs. Transeo starts this new working group to exchange good practices on "business transfer ecosystems", addressing the different kinds of business transfers (intrafamily succession, transfer to employees, transfer to third party) and splitting the business transfer/acquisition process in phases. For each phase, the working group will identify the success factors and the good practices, already existing and replicable in an other region or country. More information? Contact our team

  • Working group Business Transfer Marketplaces: There are various ways to guarantee the continuity of a company, by transferring it to the next generation, to the employees, to the management or to an external buyer. All options should be considered by the business owner and if no "internal" succession is possible, a transfer/sale, to a third party should be considered. In this respect, business transfer marketplaces make it possible to match companies for sale with the most suitable acquirer. Over the ten past years, the EU Commission has been pointing out the essential role played by matching platforms/marketplaces, either in the public, private or semi-public sector, and insisted on the need for Member States to develop matching platforms to efficiently support sellers and buyers of SMEs. Lots of marketplaces have been launched across Europe, with various quality levels. Transeo and 3 of its Members have recently conducted, on behalf of the EU Commission, the "EU4BT" project ( Its objective was to define standards for efficient matching platforms in Europe and to create the best conditions to ensure their good implementation. 19 business transfer marketplaces (from Norway, Finland, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Italy and Spain) have signed the EU4BT European Code of Conduct. Transeo wishes to continue the work started under the EU4BT project and more importantly, to create more business opportunities and to increase the performance of the marketplaces of its Members. This working group will be geared to practical needs, and will be based on the exchange of good practices between Members from different sectors and countries. The main objective is to help Transeo Members become more sustainable, competitive and offer top-quality services to their clients, entrepreneurs. More information? Contact our team!
  • Academic Working Group: The objective of the Transeo Academic Working Group is to highlight and develop research dedicated to SME transfer. The Transeo Academic Awards were launched by the Academic Working Group to reward the best academic papers about business transfer. A new action plan for the Transeo academic working group is in preparation.

Past working groups

Mapping Working Group: From the start of Transeo association, a mapping of SME transfer environments, stakeholders, good practices and challenges appeared to be the priority topic to be studied within a working group. The “Transeo Mapping working group” worked on the collection of such information. Exhaustive results of the working group were presented exclusively to Transeo Members during the 2011 Transeo Event in October 2011 at the European Parliament, in the framework of the 2011 European SME Week.

o Objective 1: “map” the business transfer stakeholders, challenges and good practices in Transeo member countries : Data about the main business transfer stakeholders (their role, their tools, publications) was compiled among Transeo Members and Business Transfer country sheets were prepared, each providing an introduction part (situation of SMEs, brief description of the SME transfer market, of the political context …) and a list of stakeholders. Country sheets were compared in order to identify similarities, differences and trends and highlight business transfer issues and good practices.

o Objective 2: identify technical challenges or “deal-breakers” in SME transfers in Transeo member countriesThe second objective of the working group was to “map” the technical challenges in the field of business transfer: what is making business transfers difficult, postponed or impossible in Transeo member countries? This technical study was carried out among Transeo Members, in collaboration with Transeo Member Ernst&Young. The purpose was to identify the “deal-breakers” in SME transfers. Such approach combined the study of technical aspects with a market-oriented approach. It should be underlined that data collected within the Mapping working group are not exhaustive and were collected from Transeo Members. However, they give an up-to-date and market-based image of SME transfer in the countries members of the association.

Summary Report of the Mapping Working Group

Matching Platforms Working Group: The objective of the Matching Platforms Working Group is to identify good practices in Matching Platforms. Following the EU Commission 2006 expert group on marketplaces, a Transeo study was carried out in 2012 to map the matching platforms available in Europe, to screen their respective working and good practices and to issue recommendations. Summary report available here. Full report available only for Transeo Members. For more information, please contact us.

Awareness-raising of the seller Working Group: One of the biggest challenges twoards successful transfers of SMEs is the difficulty in motivating entrepreneurs to consider positively and organize the transfer of their SME in time. Indeed, business transfer is not often considered as a normal part of the business management and process. Business owners need to be approached early to raise their awareness about the possible transfer of their company. Initiatives exist all over Europe and the objective of the working group was to collect good practices to efficiently raise awareness of potential sellers about business transfer. The final report is ready (only for Transeo Members). A summary brochure is available here. A Position Paper is also available. For more info, please contact us.

Valuation Working Group: In 2011, a Transeo study pointed out the price expectation mismatch as the major dealbreaker (obstacle to the success of a business transfer). Among the elements that could contribute to this mismatch, it has been observed that the valuation methods used to compute the fair value of a SME (DCF, multiples or asset-based) neglected the intrinsic features of this type of companies. This is why Transeo launched a new working group and study in October 2013. The study, involving Transeo Members, is supported by Transeo and BNP-Paribas-Fortis. The study intends to guide both participants of a business transfer towards a zone of possible agreement by taking into account the characteristics of SMEs during the valuation process. The objective of the study is to decompose the convergence process from the value (which is seen as the output of a classic valuation method) to the transfer price by relying on finance theories as well as market-based observations.
Executive Summary