Who knew that Bosch or Bertelsmann (Germany), Rolex (Switzerland), Ikea (Sweden), Carlsberg (Denmark), or Pierre Fabre (France) belonged to… foundations? There are more than 1,350 cases in Denmark – with 1,000 in Germany and 1,000 in Sweden – where the founders made the fateful decision to transmit all or part of his capital and voting rights to a foundation.
Despite these dual virtues, the shareholder foundation form is largely unknown, especially in France. The Pierre Fabre Laboratories and the press group La Montagne are the exception, but at a time when 700,000 family enterprises are to be passed down within the next few years – combined with the diminishing role of the welfare state – the industrial foundation model offers an intriguing alternative that requires exploration.
This first European study aims to share the features of this innovative model with public and private leaders, stakeholders involved in business transmission, researchers and students. It seeks to articulate how the model creates inseparable links between investment and giving, responsibility and altruism, capitalism and philanthropy.