Private equity investors offer one solution to medium-sized German family businesses facing succession by actively investing in these businesses through the managed process of a buyout or buyin. This study investigates the individual contributions of a wide range of factors impacting on the realization of a private equity backed succession buyout. Due to the explorative nature of the study the author makes use of a qualitative research design. Interaction theory and transaction cost economics are utilized to identify, analyze and systematize critical success factors. Next to behavioral and motivational aspects associated with the principally involved parties, framework conditions and process-related issues are discussed.