Offshoot (economy)

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An offshoot (also known as a spin-off ; English : spin out or spin-off ) describes in business administration a spin-off of a business unit from a company and the establishment of a company with this part to form an independent company. Offshoots are classified as a form of divestment .

Innovation management

In innovation management, such offshoots are also considered to be a good opportunity to commercialize research and development results externally. They also allow innovations that are of little interest to the existing business units to be further developed and to generate income from them through participation or license income. Offshoots are also seen as an instrument within the framework of the open innovation paradigm, in which companies open up their innovation systems and systematically network with other actors and their environment. A distinction is made between academic spin-offs on the university side and corporate spin-offs on the private sector.


Spin-offs are of particular importance for listed companies. The shareholders of the existing company receive free shares in the new company or subscription rights to shares in the same. In Germany, this takes place legally as a spin-off under the Transformation Act .

Examples in Germany (date of stock exchange listing ex spin-off):

A closely related term is the so-called equity carve-out , in which shares in a subsidiary are placed on the stock exchange (i.e. sold).