This study is a longitudinal analysis of eight UK family businesses that underwent an MBO/I in 1998. It examines whether the MBO/I triggers professionalization of the business, the continuance of a family ethos and their influences on performance. Analysis is of interview, survey and financial data collected from multiple respondents at three points in time up to 2006. We find that succession through MBO/I can enable the family firm to maintain its independent ownership and sustain the notion of “familiness” over time, albeit in a metamorphosed state.