Lantbruksföretagets tillväxtstrategi och finansiella sökbeteende : en empirisk studie av sex lantbruksföretag med tillväxtambitioner

University essay from SLU/Dept. of Economics

Abstract: The structural rationalization of the agricultural sector in Sweden has led to many expansive, professional companies orientated towards growth. The agricultural sector is a very capital-intense sector and is characterized by the need for large sums of capital in form of buildings, inventory and arable land. The capital need is especially large for companies who have an ambition of growth and development of the company in the near future. The study is built upon six cases that all can be categorized as large agricultural farms with a turnover exceeding 20 million Swedish crowns. The companies are located in the middle and in the south of Sweden and are in the sector of primary production with focus on dairy-, pork-, egg-, chicken-, beef-, vegetables- and grain production as well as in the business of refining milk towards consumers. The study aims to identify the motives and driving forces that lies behind the growth of a farm-based company. The agricultural companies' motive for growth is studied based on which factors that influence the ambition to grow and to what extent these factors accord to the picture given by earlier research of small companies outside the agricultural sector. The aim of the study is also to identify, analyse and describe the financial search behaviour of the farm. The financial search behaviour is analysed with starting-point in the pecking order theory and also the theory of control aversion. These theories are then applied on the companies included within the study to see how the farms act when investments are done. The method that has been implemented to carry out the study has been of explorative nature including qualitative interviews with key persons within the companies. Additional interviews have been conducted with persons within the banking business among with other companies with interests within the agricultural sector. This to get a wider range of the problem highlighted within this study. The results show that an expansion of the business mainly is financed with the help of internally generated capital but also through financing from the bank. Capital has also been provided from companies with interests within the agricultural sector as well as government funding. External financing in form of Venture Capital has never been of any interests for the companies in the study since the financial search behaviour of the managers is coloured by the managers control aversion. For growth to be possible the business managers included in the study points out that both financial and non-financial goals are important and are needed to be fulfilled in order for the company to have a positive development. The financial goals can characterized as good financial growth and the non-financial goals can be seen as more of immaterial character "to have fun on the job and to see the company and the persons within the company develop".

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