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Who Will Inherit the Family Business? Often, It’s Private Equity

Neal Rosenthal found a different kind of heir when he set out to craft a succession plan for his wine-importing business a few years ago.

Mr. Rosenthal wasn’t ready to give up the company he started in 1977 out of a liquor store connected to his parents’ pharmacy in New York City, on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, and his daughter wasn’t interested in taking over. So Mr. Rosenthal sold a stake in the business to a buyout firm and stayed on as CEO.