An Analysis Of Learning Through Acquisitions Business Essay

This reappraisal attempts to look into the obstructions associated with cross-border amalgamations and acquisitions ( MandA ) . Companies have different grounds for taking whichever option, either amalgamation or acquisition. The basic motivations for both picks are highlighted in the research. As mentioned earlier, there are assorted jobs associated with turning through M & A ; A even within the same cultural environment. Not surprisingly, the jobs associated with cross-border M & A ; A can be more hard to get the better of. This research highlights specific illustrations of the jobs that occur in cross-border M & A ; A.

Two specific illustrations of ‘corporate matrimonies ‘ that failed have been analysed in this research. In order to discourse in specificity the cultural issues involved with cross-border M & A ; A, this research capitalises on German and American working relationships. The first illustration is of Wal-Mart ‘s acquisition of Wertkauf and Interspar while the 2nd illustration involves the amalgamation between Daimler-Benz and Chrysler. In both illustrations, one can detect how cultural hindrances have affected confederations that would hold been without uncertainty really noteworthy.

This research besides highlights the good working relationship that some Nipponese companies have been able to keep with the Gallic.

To reason the research, an analysis utilizing Geert Hofstede ‘s cultural dimension was done. This compares the both civilizations in order to explicate the behavior of both the Americans and the Germans in the concern context. The comparing compares both civilizations against the universe norm every bit good.

Brief Overview of M & A ; A

The words amalgamation and acquisition ( M & A ; A ) are used interchangeably when discoursing growing scheme of companies. M & A ; A represent two different types of growing schemes and technically, they both mean different things in footings of procedures, allotment of assets, ownership etc. Nevertheless, the aim of both schemes is growing and increased public presentation of the new company. The buying company in an M & A ; A normally sees the acquisition as a profitable investing chance ( Pautler, 2003 ) . Cross-border M & A ; A have increased since the mid 1990s particularly due to merchandise liberalization, service sector deregulating and denationalization of state-owned ventures ( Chen and Findlay, 2003 ) . Amalgamations and acquisitions represent a good per centum of Foreign Direct Investment ( FDI ) globally as transnational corporations use this as a growing scheme.

A amalgamation is the merger of two companies of similar size to organize a new legal entity. The amalgamation between Glaxo Wellcome and SmithKline Beecham is a noteworthy illustration nevertheless ; both companies are based within same cultural environment. Amalgamations do non happen rather frequently, as companies consider so many variables before a amalgamation is successfully established. Regardless of whether amalgamations are cross-border or non, they are in fact really hard to prolong. Looking at the history of M & A ; A it seems as though the successful 1s are concerns of similar civilizations. The celebrated amalgamations that have endured concern obstructions in our universe today are normally of homogeneous civilization e.g. ExxonMobil, GlaxoSmithKline etc. The influence of civilization on cross-border amalgamations can non be over-emphasised as civilization is portion of the larger institutional environment that affects the transmutation of amalgamations ( Aguilera and Dencker, 2004 ) .

An acquisition on the other manus, is a complete buy-out of a smaller or less financially stable company by a wealthier one. Acquisitions are more disposed to happen as some concerns find themselves fighting with capital demands or client ‘s demands. Nevertheless, a bigger company may still get a company that is stable if the entrant ‘s conditions in the new market are non favorable, as seen in the instance of Wal-Mart and Asda. Asda at the clip of the acquisition was a prima grocer in the UK while Wal-Mart needed to perforate the UK food market industry. The relationship between Asda and Wal-Mart is as a reciprocally good one.

Before a company becomes a mark for M & A ; A, the motivation for the buyer is normally identified. However, it is non ever easy to foretell which companies are marks for M & A ; A. Harmonizing to Gonzalez et Al ( 1997 ) , “ it is really hard to acknowledge all the underlying coup d’etat motivations utilizing publically available information ” .

The most common ground for M & A ; A is that is it seen as good investing by the buying company ( Pautler, 2003 ) . The buying company sees marks as holding potencies that they are able to tackle. M & A ; A ‘s are possible growing and investing chances for companies. For illustration, Virgin Group has continued to turn and spread out through a series of M & A ; A with over 400 companies. The company ( Virgin Group ) identifies new concern sections and so buys up bing concerns or engages in partnership. In Nigeria, Virgin collaborated with the national air hose ‘Nigerian Airways ‘ to organize ‘Virgin Nigeria ‘ . Virgin Group consists of unrelated and diversified concern units including media, drinks, air hoses, telecommunications etc. Possibly, the lone thing the assorted concern units have in common is the trade name name.

New Market Entrant Strategy

When companies intend to come in into cross-cultural markets, they may confront some opposition by other rivals and even consumers. In this instance, the best option for the company is to unify with an bing company in that industry. It besides helps when the foreign company takes on the individuality of the locals as in the instance of Tesco in Thailand known as Tesco Lotus.

Deriving Cost-Efficiency

When two companies decide to unify, they combine their resources and take advantage of their capablenesss. In footings of production or buying, the new company is able to prosecute in scale economic systems. Very frequently, smaller companies welcome M & A ; A due to the cost-efficiency that they gain from their confederation. When companies purchase in big measures, they have more power to act upon their providers by driving the cost down.

Problems of Amalgamations and Acquisitions

A figure of issues can turn out to be obstructions in the manner of cross-border M & A ; A including linguistic communication barriers, employee and direction relationships, currency differences etc. The cultural dimensions of Geert Hofstede is used to analyze the effects of civilization on concerns in cross-border M & A ; A. Individualistic as against leftist civilizations, long-run relationship orientations versus short-run relationship orientations ; all these have an impact on M & A ; A and one cultural group would seldom endorse down for the other.

The monetary value to pay for geting another concern is besides an issue in M & A ; A as the mark companies frequently expect a payout that is exceeds the company ‘s market value. This is a job for the acquirer because concern advisers make anticipations for profitableness however ; concern does non ever aline with the anticipations.

Apart from the proprietors of the concern, amalgamations and acquisitions besides affect other stakeholders such as employees. Employees are frequently discerning of M & A ; A as respects how it affects their occupation security ( Agami, 2001 ) . Decisions of M & A ; A besides affect senior direction and coerce them to retire. The company may hold to pass immense sums as redundancy payments or early retirement benefits.

In the undermentioned instance survey, we will detect how companies have tried to pull off M & A ; A in a cross-cultural state of affairs.


Brief Overview of Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart foremost opened in 1962 alongside Target and K-mart ; nevertheless, neither has been rather every bit successful as Wal-Mart ( Fisherman, 2006 ) . The 40-year history of Wal-Mart has experienced sporadic growing in the industry including through acquisitions of whole companies as in the instance of Woolco in Canada or, portion acquisition of Walmex in Mexico with 31 % portion of the company.

The company has become one of the biggest in private owned companies in the universe. Wal-Mart has grown by geting companies in states where it plans to spread out. Furthermore, the company has sought universe laterality by other cross-border M & A ; A in states within America every bit good as in Asia including Japan and China. Although non all of its cross-border M & A ; A have been successful, the company still seeks to spread out in many more states in the universe. Wal-Mart clears store in India in 2009 albeit under a different trade name name.

As portion of its cross-border growing scheme, Wal-Mart in the late ninetiess decided to vie in Germany by geting two smaller retail ironss Wertkauf and Interspar. The ‘corporate matrimony ‘ did non work out good for Wal-Mart and it finally had to sell off its German subordinates.

Wal-Mart acquires Wertkauf and Interspar

Wal-Mart ‘s acquisition of Wertkauf and Interspar was a strategic confederation to perforate the European retail industry. Wal-Mart that started in the United States already had ironss of shops in Canada and parts of South America including Mexico, Brazil and Argentina. It is possible for civilization to hold a negative consequence on concern if two civilizations do non decently incorporate particularly at the beginning of cross-border M & A ; A ( Antila, 2006 ) .

Wal-Mart that acquired two retail ironss in Germany, Wertkauf in 1997 and Interspar in 1998 failed to prolong concern and was finally forced to neutralize at a loss of $ 1b ( Grose, 2006 ) . The company had around 85 shops around Germany yet did non derive the expected bridgehead. The company holding been successful in America was confronting at hand jobs in Europe. The direction of Wal-Mart underestimated the importance of the integrating procedure in act uponing public presentation of cross-border M & A ; A. Ignorance of of import internationalization schemes and cross-cultural direction marked the failure of Wal-Mart in Germany.

Many reviews have argued that two of the grounds for the failure of Wal-Mart in Europe were

  1. The directors, super-imposed American direction technique on the Germans without consideration of their cultural differences.
  2. The entry of Wal-Mart into Germany by ‘acquisition ‘ was flawed.

American Management Technique on Germans

Cross-border M & A ; A is normally frustrated when careful consideration is non given to cultural differences in direction and operation manner. When companies do non to the full appreciate specific differences in conditions in other states, a ‘clash of civilizations ‘ is frequently the consequence.

First, Wal-Mart appointed an American CEO in Germany who was non willing to learn German and showed plentifulness of ignorance of the model of the German retail market. This reflected a deficiency of regard of the German civilization and was violative to the employees. Another CEO who failed to incorporate Interspar into Wal-Mart so replaced him. This created many turbulences between the two civilizations.

Second, the concern civilization that forbade an employee from dating influential co-workers was introduced ( Schaefer, 2006 ) in Germany. Hitherto, this was an recognized civilization in German concern. Ideally, the HR directors at Wal-Mart should hold analysed the cross-cultural concern differences of the German mark companies ( Antila, 2006 ) . In state of affairss where there are utmost differences in concern civilization, top direction demands to happen a in-between land for via media. Harmonizing to Antila ( 2006 ) , in order to make a unflawed merger, HR directors ought to understand their civilizations foremost earlier seeking to understand the civilizations of mark acquisition.

Flawed Entry by Acquisition

Wal-Mart ‘s acquisition of Interspar is still widely criticised, as the supermarket was the weakest among taking supermarket ironss in Germany. The company spent immense sums in redevelopment of the bedraggled subdivisions around Germany yet returns made from gross revenues were non impressive and did non fit the disbursals. When companies decide to get marks, it is of import, that the company ‘s strategic intent is clear and that stakeholders benefit from the M & A ; A. The hazard of uncertainness is reduced in M & A ; A by the initial strategic analysis ( Angwin, 2001 ) . With Wal-Mart ‘s acquisition of Interspar, the strategic intent was non rather clear as the company was fighting and did non look to hold any possible.

Possibly Wal-Mart did non rather understand the German market before they decided to come in ( Business Europe, 2003 ) . The chief scheme of Wal-Mart that had antecedently been successful in its other acquisitions was ‘constantly take downing monetary values ‘ . In the German market nevertheless, the consumers already had a figure of cost-leaders to take from like Lidl and Aldi, so the ‘Wal-Mart Effect ‘ was non peculiarly particular.

Again the company flawed by trying some pricing policies that the German authorities considered illegal. Wal-Mart tried a policy of returning clients that found the same points bought at lower monetary values elsewhere. This was an violation of some of import German Torahs ( Dess et al, 2008 ) . The company besides ne’er established good relationship with the labour brotherhoods in Germany ( Dess et al, 2008 ) .

The following instance survey shows how a partnership can travel incorrect if one group tries to rule the other. The growing scheme is amalgamation, which means both companies are purportedly of equal size.


Daimler-Chrysler Amalgamation

The amalgamation between German car manufacturer Daimler-Benz and American car manufacturer Chrysler was one of the biggest multinational amalgamations of all time. In 1998, the trade was signed in London and the combined net worth of both companies was $ 132b. The CEOs of both companies admitted in their imperativeness conference that both companies relied on the amalgamation for an chance to vie on a planetary graduated table ( Neubauer et al, 2000 ) . The purpose of the Daimler-Chrysler amalgamation was to take advantage of a growing chance and spread out geographically. The program was use to make a state of affairs whereby both companies could portion capacities, substructure and installations ( Blasko et al, 2000 ) . Ideally, amalgamations should make better concern status where both companies reciprocally benefit from each other.

However, one of the major obstructions that stood in the manner of the Daimler-Chrysler amalgamation was more of cultural differences between the Germans and the Americans. In this instance, it was non a ‘merger of peers ‘ as research workers like Farkas-DiNardo et Al ( 2006 ) claimed. The amalgamation witnessed a high quality of the Germans guaranting that the American top direction employees were either sacked or forced to retire in the span of merely two old ages.

Prior to the amalgamation between German based Daimler-Benz and US based Chrysler, the car industry had non witnessed a amalgamation of such magnitude. Part of the job of this peculiar amalgamation was that the Daimler amalgamation squad went into the understanding with the purpose of being superior to the Americans therefore, making a battle for leading. On the other manus, the American squad strived for equality between both companies instead than laterality of merely one company. There was clearly a misinterpretation between the direction of both companies refering the footings of battle.

Conflicts within Daimler-Chrysler

The direction of both companies were likely non really thorough in their research before hurling into the amalgamation and this reflected in all the struggles that the company experienced. The location for the company was a job for both companies as none of them was willing to compromise. The caput of Daimler claimed he could ne’er travel the company out of Germany instead he would welcome the thought of incorporating Chrysler into Germany ( Badrtalei and Bates, 2007 ) . In add-on, the naming of the new company was a cause of dissension as the Germans refused to compromise. The Americans suggested “ ChryslerDaimler-Benz ” but their German opposite number refused, explicating that the name “ Daimler-Benz ” had a long history and as such could non be capable to such alteration.

The Germans clearly dominated most of the facets of the new company with the Americans invariably forced to do via media. The method of decision-making within the administration was another beginning of struggle as both companies had different backgrounds. Within the Americans, mid-level directors were empowered to do certain determinations whereas with the Germans, they were non. Even the work wonts of both civilizations were clearly really different. The Americans are by and large more informal favoring dress-down manner to work and meetings while their German co-workers were ever formal adhering purely to the suit-and-tie frock codification of the company ( Badrtalei and Bates, 2007 ) .

Another of import beginning of dissension between the two companies was the method of fiscal coverage which differed well in both states. The manners of describing fiscal information in the US was on an efficient quarterly footing while the Germans on the other manus reported based on full-year studies. It was really apparent that the differences between the two civilizations were a immense obstruction in the manner of what would hold been doubtless, the biggest amalgamation in the car industry.

To decline the already bad working relationship between the Germans and the Americans, Jurgen Schrempp the CEO of Daimler-Benz had an bossy manner of leading towards the laterality of the car universe. He invariably overrode the determinations of his American co-chairman Bob Eaton.

Benefits of Amalgamations and Acquisitions

It is hard to generalize when finding the benefits M & A ; A as many fail to bring forth the coveted benefits. Quite frequently, both companies record losingss and the partnership ends in a ‘corporate divorce ‘ . More frequently than non, one company benefits much more than the other does. Harmonizing to Hakanson ( 1995 ) , an of import inquiry that arises in M & A ; A is ‘when, how and to whom does acquisition make or destruct value? ‘ The fact remains that the failures of amalgamations and acquisitions are unpredictable and even the slightest clash caused by differences in backgrounds can make job and may finally take to a ‘deal-breaker ‘ .

For Wal-Mart, there were about no benefits whatsoever in puting up store in Germany as its experient fiscal reverses of assorted sorts that finally led to selling its subordinates off at a loss of $ 1b. The company, which had done so good in order states like Brazil, Argentina, Mexico etc as the top retail concatenation could non acquire happen the formula for success in Germany.

In the 2nd instance survey on Daimler-Chrysler, it was clear from the start that the amalgamation will be tough to carry through given the assorted struggles that lurked. The job possibly is that the Germans and the Americans have still non mastered the art of working seamlessly without making ‘hubris ‘ .

Comparing German Y and the United States Using Hofstede ‘s Cultural Dimension Model

Comparing the German and the American civilization utilizing Geert Hofstede ‘s theoretical account of cultural dimension shows small difference in footings of power distance, maleness and long-run orientation. The little differences are in individuality and uncertainness turning away in which the United States ranks higher in the former while Germany ranks higher in the latter.

Bothe states rank higher that the universe norm in footings of maleness and this possibly is one of the grounds that they ne’er seem to come to a cultural via media. In the instance of Wal-Mart, the Americans displayed a higher degree of maleness by coercing their civilization on their German co-workers. This may be more apprehensible since it was an ‘acquisition ‘ non a ‘merger ‘ and of course, the ‘acquiring company ‘ wants to turn out their control by manner of direction or concern moralss. On the other manus, nevertheless, it is hard to understand why Daimler-Benz proved to be instead tyrannizing with Chrysler as it was ab initio tagged a ‘merger of peers ‘ . Although Germany has a higher maleness degree of approximately 65 % , the United States does non fall far behind with a maleness degree of approximately 62 % ( Hofstede ) .

Possibly, the Gallic and the Nipponeses have found a better manner to work seamlessly despite their huge cultural differences. The confederation between Nissan the Nipponese car manufacturer and their Gallic opposite number Renault has late reached its 10th twelvemonth. Other strategic cross-border confederations in the car industry the Japanese and the Gallic are besides set to take topographic point between Peugeot and Mitsubishi.


In decision, it is of import to observe that civilization will ever play an of import function in cross-border M & A ; A nevertheless ; companies need to happen a manner to compromise on certain issues. From the instance surveies of Wal-Mart ‘s blemished entry into Germany and Daimler-Benz ‘s laterality of a supposed ‘equal amalgamation ‘ , one may reason that both the Americans every bit good as the Germans have really strong cultural values and they ne’er seem to be able to compromise when prosecuting in M & A ; A.

Human resource directors need to see issues refering civilization when it comes to M & A ; A as people are barely ready for socialization in a civilization witting society. The civilization daze that takes topographic point within administration possibly hits the employees that hardest as they experience first-hand the alterations that have resulted from incorporating a new civilization.


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