Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages associated with international mergers and acquisition strategy explaining the role that this strategy may play in contributing to a company's vision in becoming a truly global organisation.
What are Mergers and Acquisitions?
The mergers and acquisitions play an important part in restructuring the corporate sector. The primary concept behind this strategy is that two companies combine together so that they can be more valuable in the market, as being single entities cannot give them the values that they want in the market. Therefore it can be said that the consolidation between two companies can be called as mergers and acquisitions. Business sectors such as pharmaceuticals, telecommunications and finance are some of the industries where mergers and acquisitions can be seen many times (Zheng et al., 2016).
Merger is a strategy that involves the two businesses to join together so that they can form a single company with a new name. This is due to the fact that the merger between both the companies happens when they are of equal size so that there stature remains the same by cooperating with each other. Therefore it can be stated that mergers are basically a marriage between the two companies (Duchin & Schmidt, 2013).
Acquisitions on the other hand refer to a situation where a firm tries to acquire another and the latter is deemed of its existence. It is basically where one of the companies tries to take over another smaller company so that the latter company can continue its operation by being a subsidiary of the parent company (Azagaiah & Sathishkumar, 2014).
When a company tries to merge with another company, it is basically known as acquiring the firm whereas the company that is being acquired by the parent company is known as Target Company.
According to Tripathi and Lamba (2015), the vision that is set by the companies helps them in defining the purpose for which the organization has been built. The vision of the company helps the organization in defining the products and services for which they are serving in the market. It also helps in communicating with the major stakeholders so that they can understand the value of the organization and the work that they would be providing in the society. The main purpose of the vision statement in the company is that it will help in providing information regarding the development of the strategies and the measurement of the rate of success by using the strategies that are taken up by the organization.
Aik et al., (2015) opined that the vision statement helps in communicating the values and purpose of the organization to the stakeholders along with the key parties so that it can help them in influencing the organization in the near future. The vision of the company also helps in the development of the strategy so that the goals and objectives can be achieved in a proper manner. The vision for the company also acts as a guide for the firm so that it can help them in reaching towards their goals and objectives.
Advantages of Mergers and Acquisitions
The advantages and disadvantages of the strategy of merger and acquisition solely depend on the formation of the new company for a short or a long period of time. The factors present in the marketing environment needs to be considered so that it can help the business to prosper. The difference in the culture of business along with the changes in the cost of acquisitions also needs to be kept in mind (Long, 2015).
The advantages of mergers and acquisitions are that it helps in gaining control and power over the markets so that the company can get a competitive advantage. Another major advantage is that it helps the new company to synergize the efforts of both the companies so that the value of efficiencies increases, which will help in giving better returns on the investment and save the cost at the same time. The economies of scale also take place, as the resources of the company are shared by the two parent companies along with the efficient services as well. This results in giving the new company a competitive advantage, which will help in increasing the purchasing capacity of the customers (Cartwright & Cooper, 2014). The merging of the companies help them in sharing the technologies that is available with them so that it can help in increasing the level of production for the new company. This will also help the new company in gaining competitive advantage in the market, as better rate of productivity levels will help in manufacturing the products at a lower cost. One of the biggest advantages is that the companies would get the benefit of tax subsidies. The new company that will be formed will help in decreasing the rate of tax and increase the leverage of monetary benefits along with the other benefits that are present in the structure of tax (Risberg, 2013).
The disadvantages of this strategy are that there will losses of workers who are experienced along with the employees who used to be leaders. This loss will hamper the standard of the business, as the value of the company may get decreased. Another disadvantage is that the employees of the new company may be requiring re-skilling in an exhaustive manner. The new company will also be facing certain difficulties, which may take place due to the competition that is present internally due to the unification of two companies (Maksimovic, Phillips & Yang, 2013). It may result in having a surplus of employees in most of the departments. The merger of two companies will result in the duplication of products, which may lead to the increasing the capabilities of retrenchments within the company. The rise in the level of costs may take place if there is a modification of the management, which may lead to the delay in the deal of acquisition (Sarala et al., 2016).
Disadvantages of Mergers and Acquisitions
The mergers that used to happen in the past decades were done mainly through the financial transactions and the primary aim was to control the assets that are undervalued. It also targeted the businesses that were different that the core business of the parent companies. The flow of cash was used merely to repay the debts from which the company was suffering. The acquisitions that are taking place in the recent times are not limited to the purchasing of the undervalued assets but it also involves the purchasing of the customer bases that the company has along with the channels of distribution so that the geographical boundaries can be increased (Larsson & Finkelstein, 2013). These factors help in giving the new companies a better opportunity with respect to the strategies that are being adopted in the system. This will help the new company in gaining a competitive advantage over the rival firms that are present in the market with respect to the products and services that are being offered by them. This helps the new companies in increasing their revenues, as the units of the business can be consolidated together (Bena & Li, 2014).
The mergers that takes place in between the companies allows them in spreading the research and development at different locations o that the market can be understood. This allows the company to be exposed to the different innovation centers that are present so that it can develop the products according to the expectations of the customers. Secondly, it also helps the research team in enhancing their idea and understand the level of creativity that is needed so that the companies can survive in the surrounding environment (Meyer & Peng, 2016). This will also allow the company in gaining customers on a global scale, which will allow them in increasing their level of profits. The company will also be able to diversify their risks, as they will not be dependent on only one location and the products will be assessed in a proper way by entering other markets as well (Larsson & Finkelstein, 2013).
The major reason for merging of both the companies is due to the fact that it can help the new company in entering the new market with many opportunities. The use of new product lines will help in increasing the channels of distribution, which will form a core competence for the company. The merging of the companies to form a new one will help in increasing the value of the shareholders, which can be achieved by reducing the cost of various departments such as operations and the work force that is present within the company (Zaheer, Castaner & Souder, 2013). This helps the company in increasing its rate of profit as well. It will also help in increasing the confidence of the investors and stabilize the earnings of the company as well. The major reason for merging of two companies is that it makes the new company dominant in the market so that the economies of scale can be reached in a better manner (Dutordoir, Roosenboom & Vasconcelos, 2014).
Strategies for Mergers and Acquisitions
There has been an increase in the complexity between the mergers and acquisitions of the companies due to its effectiveness and scope. To mitigate the dangers that are present in taking the decisions in a wrong manner, the buyer company needs to understand the potential areas within the organization so that a clear criterion can be set for acquisition of the firm. The organizations need to set a clear target so that the acquisition can be a success. The company has to set a clear target by using various metrics that will help in calculating the values and define the different criteria that are present for the merger. This will help the new company in gaining a competitive advantage in the market (Gomes et al., 2013).
The use of the aggregation strategy will help in developing the effect of synergy between the operations of the company so that it can fare in a better way in the different locations where the company will be located. This strategy will result in exploiting the economies of scale so that knowledge and innovation in the companies can take place in a continuous manner. An example of this would be the development of products due to the increase in the finance level due to the merger of the companies (Meyer & Peng, 2016). This extra flow of cash allows the company in increasing the level of products so that the reach in the market can be increased to a great extent. The use of aggregation strategy will also result in globalizing the headquarters so that it can control the rate of operation in the market. Most of the global companies like Toyota and Dell is operating on a global scale and has set up its headquarters in Asian countries as well. This has resulted in efficiently improving its level of services in the Asian markets as well (Gomes et al., 2013).
The adaptation strategy that is taken up by the merger companies enables them in understanding the needs of the local consumers so that it can help them in providing better services. It also allows the company in setting the prices in a proper way by understanding the level of income that the consumers have in the local market. This strategy allows the companies in taking in to consideration the income levels of the consumers along with the differences that are present among the groups of customers (Meyer & Peng, 2016).
There are many rationales that need to be followed during the merger and acquisitions that needs to be followed so that it can help in forming the new company in a successful manner. The strategic rationale helps in achieving the objectives in a strategical manner, as there are various alternatives that are available. This helps in providing the parent company to control the capacity of the target company in a secure manner. The speculative rationale on the other hand is where the acquirer treats the organization that will be acquired as a commodity so that the organization can reap benefits after the acquisition has been done (Garzella & Fiorentino, 2014). There is a potential risk in this rationale, as the parent company can do anything that they wish with the target company. This type of rationale is vulnerable to the changes that may take place in the external environment. The rationale known as management failure may happen when the management of a company fails in executing the strategies, which has been taken up wrongfully in the present condition of the market. The merging of the company in this rationale helps in formulating new strategies so that it can ensure the survival of the firm in the market. The political rationale takes place due to the political influence that is increasing in the modern world and this type of mergers usually takes place on the government levels. The rationale behind business redefining happens when the mission and the vision of the organization cannot be met due to the technological failures, which needs to be updated immediately by investing on a priority manner so that the business can earn better profits (Sherman, 2018).
The mergers that take place in the world are basically of three types where the first one is known as vertical integration, which is characterized by the backward and forward integration of the supply chain. This is the process where the manufacturers merge with the suppliers or the retailers. This helps in decreasing the risks that are present with respect to the supply of the materials. The integration that is based on the customers is known as forward integration and with respect to the suppliers is known as backward integration. Secondly, the integration that is horizontal in nature happens when one of the companies acquires another company who are based in the same sector (Bjursell, 2017). This integration helps the two companies who are in the same sector to increase their value in the market by offering the same product in a better manner. Thirdly, conglomeration refers to the acquisition of the companies that are unrelated so that production can continue in the respective sectors. This integration is useful, as it helps in spreading the risk of the business in a wider area. The expansion of conglomeration helps in increasing the risk of the companies (Pitkanen, 2013).
The major reason for the mergers and acquisitions is the fact that it allows the flow of resources in to the new company. The target companies become the internal units and are dependent on the independent firm that has acquired the company. An example of this would be DaimlerChrysler where Daimler paid $35 billion in acquiring Chrysler so that they can enjoy a share of 40 percent in the market. The high amount was paid so that it can help in providing better level of capability to derive the level of synergy and make significant changes in the managerial level so that it can be derived for self-interests. The use of due diligence by the company allows them in assessing the financial status of the target firm so that the resources can fit in a proper manner in the acquiring company. This results in matching the resources of the company in a strategical manner so that the firm can achieve the target in a joint manner and at a lower cost as well (Meyer & Peng, 2016).
The period of post-acquisition results in many challenges within the organization, which needs to be channelized in a better way. The major challenge of the new company is to understand the synergies that will help in keeping the work place of the company motivated. This has to be done by setting up new objectives so that it can result in creating new capabilities and the available resources can be exploited in a proper manner as well. The new company also need to address the concerns of the stakeholders so that it can result in diminishing the fear of loss of jobs and their powers within the organization. The inappropriate use of management power within the organization may result in the loss of motivation among the employees, which may also create a high level of turnover of the employees.
Hidden champions was a term that was coined by Herrman Simon who was a German professor, as he was able to understand the niche markets that had competitive advantage in the technological sector, which can be exploited on a global scale. This was due to the fact that the use of the technological advances by the company will result in being ahead than the other companies in the market and the products that will be developed by the company will be advantageous as well (Meyer & Peng, 2016). The use of global focusing also needs to be done by the new companies that are formed through merger and acquisitions so that it can lead to better ideas of business within the organization. The reduction in the barriers of trade will help the company in gaining a competitive advantage due to the increased area of operations for the company.
Corporate culture is the set of beliefs that are assumed by the employees within the organization. In a merger and acquisition, it is important to understand the culture that is present within the organization so that it can help in strategically aligning the objectives, which will help in the smooth functioning of the business (Skog & Sjoman, 2016). The acquiring company needs to understand the importance of the culture so that it can help in increasing the productivity of the target company with the same employees and the resources that are available to them. The corporate culture is based on different variables such as the behavioral aspects, which helps in exchanging the behavior of the employees that are present within the organization. It helps the organization in adapting various ways in solving the problems that are present within the environment so that they can work together in harmony (Becker, 2016).
According to Agarwal, Jaffe and Mandelker (2014), the first level of the corporate culture is known as artifacts and creations, which begins when the employees have a difference in their cultures, which needs to be seen in a proper manner. The second level deals with the espoused values, which is inclusive of the mission and vision of the company along with the personal and internal values of the employees through which they are working within the organization. This helps the management of the organization to take decisions at a faster rate, as they are prone to take the risks within the organization. The third level of the corporate culture is based on the basic assumptions that need to be identified cognitively within the members of the organization.
Stahl et al., (2013) was of the opinion that the confectionary market in the Nordic region had very popular names that have been known to exist for more than 100 years. Cloetta and Fazer has been the respectable brands, as they are known to be provide strong and better quality products to the consumers. Cloetta Fazer has been one of the largest producers of sugar and chocolate confectionaries in the market of the Nordic region. In the year 2000, it was seen that the company amounted to a sale figure of MSEK 3000 and its employee strength was around 2000 who were involved within the trade and confectionary of the products. In the year 2001, it was seen that Valora Holding AG came in to an agreement with Cloetta Fazer that the sale would be looked after the latter and they would keep their entire focus on the confectionery.
Deng, Kang and Low (2013) stated that the confectionery has around 6 production plants out of which three are located in Sweden, Finland has 2 plants and Poland has 1 plant respectively. The company holds the third position in Norway and Denmark and fifth position in Poland respectively along with a 25 percent of share in the market in the Nordic region. The major competitors of Cloetta Fazer are Nestle, Cadbury and Kraft Foods.
The primary reason for the merger was to make the company competitive in nature so that then customers can have a better experience with the products in the Nordic region. Cloetta was founded by Christoffer, Bernhard Cloetta and Nutin who were three brothers belonging to Switzerland and the company was launched in Copenhagen in the year 1862. The main headquarters of the company is located in Ljungsbro in Sweden. Sixteen years after the company was formed, Svenska Chokladfabrik AB took over a major number of shares from the Cloetta family and by 1980 the company also took over Adaco and Consiva and formed a strategical alliance with Brynildsen and Fazer. One of the major acquisitions for the company was in 1998 when they took over Candelia and became the leaders of confectionery and chocolate industry in Sweden (Fu, Lin & Officer, 2013).
Karl Fazer established a French-Russian bakery in Helsinki in 1891 and by 1897 the company started to produce in industrial quantities. In 1963, the production for the company shifted to Sweden and in 1967 Swedish Karl Fazer AB established the company in Sweden. Fazer also bought A&E Peterson A/S that was situated in Denmark in 1980 and started its production in Poland in the year 1993 (Ishii & Xuan, 2014).
Cloetta and Fazer made a strategic alliance in the year 1990, which helped Fazer in acquiring Chymos three years down the line. The mission of the merged company was to spread delight and joy to all the people irrespective of their age and preference in their tastes by providing them a wider variety of confectionaries and chocolates. The merging of the companies was done based on their equal strengths, which prevented them from taking control over the business of each other. In the year 2005, Fazer bought a majority of shares in the company but it is still listed in the stock exchange of Stockholm (Becker, 2016).
Before both the companies were merged, each of the organization conducted several investigations regarding the sales, logistics, development of the products, production and marketing along with the administration within the organization. This helped both the organization in understanding the possibilities from where synergies can be created due to the merger. The primary effect of synergy was on the sales that were being done in Sweden, as Fazer had around a seven percent of the share in the Swedish market. It was seen that the sales of the company increased to 75 million due to the effect of synergy. The effect of synergy on the companies was successful from the beginning, which helped them in achieving the aim of being stronger in the market (Agarwal, Jaffe & Mandelker, 2014).
The identity of the new company is based on the values and mission that are formed as the core so that the objectives can be met in a proper manner. The corporate brand helps in identifying the leading company in confectionery within the Nordic region. It will also help in uniting the portfolio of the products that are present within Cloetta and Fazer in an effective manner so that the customers can get a wide range of products. The brands of the product will help the company in providing a better relationship with the customers, as it will be based on the emotional and the functional values (Stahl et al., 2013).
The vision of the company was to become the leading company with respect to confectioneries in the Nordic area, which will help in developing the industry and create values within the consumers, stakeholders and the employees. The core values of the company will act as the guiding light for them so that the new identity can be established in the market in a better manner. Cloetta Fazer will also help in influencing the communication in an external manner that is with the customers as well (Sherman, 2018).
The aim of the company was to increase their market penetration by distributing the various assortments by merging together. The merger helped them to expand so that they can be powerful and can cope with the competition that is present within the industry. Both the companies measured the strategies that were already present within the organization so that it can help them in getting the parameters based on which the future investments can be done within the organization. Most importantly, the staffs of the new company are important, as they will help in increasing the level of productivity. The staffs were investigated thoroughly so that their level of competency can be understood and proper positions can be given to them within the organization (Pitkanen, 2013).
According to Bjursell (2017), the companies after merging found that greater importance had to be given on the culture that was present within the organization so that it can help in the smooth functioning of the operations within the company. The company did not find any differences within the culture, as the structure was developing within the organization and people from all over the world had to work together so that it can be beneficial for the organization. The employees who were a part of the production team continued with the same position after the companies merged together, which was same for the people who were involved in the marketing of the products.
Gomes et al., (2013) opined that the internationalization and interdependence of the markets that are internationally placed had increased especially in the Nordic region, which called for a better style of management so that the organization would succeed in the competitive market. One of the risks that are associated with merger and acquisition is that the companies lack the understanding of behavior of management, difference in the culture and the international market. The business in the Swedish region has been long in the process of internationalization, which has helped them in incorporating the culture within the organizations. This has led to a positive effect, as most of the companies are experienced and are competent enough to market their products internationally.
The corporate culture between Cloetta and Fazer was huge, as Fazer was mostly a company that was run by a family and made their plans for a long-term. This helped them in stressing more on the quality of the products than the profits that were being earned by them. Cloetta was a company that was listed in the stock exchange of Stockholm and was very much in to increasing their profits by dividing their departments in to smaller segments so that it can help in the smooth functioning of the operations (Bena & Li, 2014). Both the companies before their merger had different styles of management, which helped them in operating in the market. Most of these differences were difficult to measure, as the employees were not willing to work together. The differences within the companies were that Fazer made its decisions at a quicker rate and their time for negotiation was short. Cloetta on the other hand were more polite with their decisions, as they liked to avoid the conflicts that could take place within the organization. Another barrier was language, which made the employees difficult in communicating with each other (Larsson & Finkelstein, 2013).
After the merger that took place between the two companies, the senior management gathered together to adopt the model of management that will be appropriate for the company so that it can help in the smooth functioning of the operations. The model adopted by them was known as fusion steering and they decided that all the managers of the companies would sit together for a seminar session twice or thrice in a year so that important questions can be addressed in a proper manner. This helped the company to perform in a better manner within the international market without facing any hurdles (Risberg, 2013).
There were many similarities in the style if management as well such as the company laid stress on the feeling of confidence and interdependence so that the solutions to the problems can be done through a joint effort. This has helped the company in gaining a better competitive advantage in the market due to their ability in solving the problems in a peaceful manner. the differences were in dimensions of orientation between the employees and the tasks that were given to them for performing. The behavior of the Nordic management was not homogenous in nature, as there are differences in culture that were being neglected in some of the departments within the organization (Long, 2015).
Cloetta Fazer was a successful merger, as there were various factors that helped the company in the process of integration. Firstly, both the companies treated each other as equal and they did not make any attempts of taking control over the other organization. Before the merger, both the companies conducted an analysis of the opportunities that were in their favor after the merger was to be done. Secondly, Cloetta Fazer has their own corporate identity, which was due to the better corporate culture that was present within the company. This helped the employees in sharing the values with each other. The establishment of the corporate culture helped the company in giving rise to a new direction and vision within the organization. Thirdly, the company realized the importance of humans within the organization so that it can help them in identifying the various levels of competencies and integrate the employees according to their skills so that they can work in an efficient manner. The issues that were present within the society were handled in a better manner, which helped in creating a safe atmosphere for the company to perform in an effective way. Lastly, the company planned the conferences within the senior management so that it can help in highlighting the potential benefits that can be gained by using the strategies in a better manner.
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