Succession, Transition, or Exit: Greentown's Founder's Decision
In 2014, Song Weiping, the founder, chair, and major shareholder of the high-end residential property developer Greentown China Holdings Limited (Greentown), based in Hangzhou, China, had started to consider decreasing his involvement in his company. Without any family to provide an obvious successor, Song had to evaluate different ways to leave the business he founded. The alternatives ranged from selling all or part of his holdings to keeping his shares but having someone else manage the company. If he chose to resign his position as chair and remain as a financial investor, he would have to find a suitable successor to act as chief executive officer. If he chose to sell his interest in the company, what criteria should he use to determine the best buyer or buyers? How much should he sell, and how could he determine a fair price?