Case History

Developing an Italian group’s business abroad

Acquisition of an Australian company and its integration into the group

The Problem

A major Italian industrial homeware group, operating in both the domestic market and abroad, decides to acquire its Australian distributor. The group has to bring the acquisition process to a close and then integrate the company into the group.
The integration process turns out to be far from easy because the target company has worked successfully on the local market for over 20 years, selling products supplied by other European and Chinese producers.   The agreements under which this business is conducted are highly complex.

The Temporary Manager’s Objectives

Contract Manager is called in to assist the group with the acquisition process and to oversee the startup of the activity on site. One of Contract Manager’s partners volunteers to move twenty thousand kilometers away to fully commit to this project.  He faces not only an array of logistic and regulatory difficulties, but also the peculiarities of the Australian market.

The objectives he is set are as follows:

  • to oversee the acquisition process to closing
  • to validate completed due diligences and look after those still ongoing
  • to avoid the triggering of any termination clauses of the preliminary agreement
  • to maintain good relations with employees, the sales force and with the main customers to avoid any negative impact on revenues
  • to integrate the Australian company into the group and to set up a new company in New Zealand

 

Actions undertaken by the Temporary Manager

Before moving to Australia, our temporary manager spends some days at the group’s holding company to receive the documents and all the data concerning the Australian target company. He also draws up a roadmap for the actions he will immediately undertake upon arrival.
Once in Australia, he focuses on the ongoing acquisition process, working with local lawyers and other professionals to complete the paperwork required. He proceeds to coordinate the inventory operations and all other activities leading up to finalizing the operation, assisting in the closing itself and in all subsequent activities, such as adjustments.
This is followed by commercial screening, which helps to establish and strengthen relations with the main customers and with the sales force scattered across such a large territory.
The temporary manager personally conducts negotiations for new contract agreements with all employees, direct sales force and agents. He also personally deals with suppliers of goods and services to review, and in many cases improve, contractual terms. At the end of the assignment, a new General Manager is selected from among the employees of the acquired company.

Results

The Italian group thus benefitted from thorough, effective management of the acquisition process. The deal was closed within two months of its assignment to CONTRACT MANAGER. The constant on-site presence of the temporary manager meant that the company could go on operating normally throughout this delicate phase, without any negative impact on P&L. A sensitive multicultural approach prevented any disputes with employees, the sales force, customers and suppliers.

Today the Australian company, with its new General Manager, is closely integrated into the group and is producing excellent results in Australia and New Zealand.