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Supporting a U.S. integration team through acquisition of an Israeli firm

Supporting a U.S. integration team through acquisition of an Israeli firm

When a large, powerful entity wants high performance from a new subsidiary, Aperian Global offers guidance in determining what should stay in place before making major changes.

Challenge:

One of the world’s largest manufacturing companies, based in the Midwest of the U.S., had an opportunity to acquire an Israeli firm with key technology, distribution, and market share. Importantly, the Israeli firm had access to markets in China and India that the U.S. firm did not have. The U.S.-based management team were eager to move quickly on the deal as part of their top-line growth M&A strategy; however, they were concerned about the integration of the Tel Aviv-based organization. This smaller firm was a Kibbutzim, a close-knit, family-run company with its own unique culture (both corporate and Israeli). The US firm, with its global procedures, policies, and systems, needed to tread carefully with this smaller, more entrepreneurial and collective company, so as to not overwhelm and push out its people.

Implementation:

Aperian Global was engaged to help the U.S. firm and its integration team prepare for the acquisition. This involved interviewing (in Hebrew) several key employees of the Israeli company on location at their factory. Positioned as a neutral third party, this exercise enabled Aperian to learn which employees were absolutely essential to remain in place in order for the deal valuation to hold as expected. These employees, many of whom were nervous about the acquisition and pending change, had enormous loyalty from others in the organization as well as with key customers in their distribution chain.

In the next step, as part of a “first 100 days initiative,” Aperian consultants facilitated an integration team workshop involving key players from the U.S. and Israeli companies. Two managers from the U.S. side, who would soon relocate to Israel for extended expatriate assignments, were prepared via personalized cross-cultural coaching sessions.

Results:

Having performed a mapping exercise of the assets, relationships, and best practices of both organizations early on, Aperian Global was able to recommend specific strategies to ensure a smooth integration. For example, in the course of the interviews, it had been discovered that one influential leader in the Israeli firm had the personal relationships that enabled the firm’s access to markets in India and China. The integration team thus knew to position this person properly in the new organization and to show respect during the integration in order for sales in those markets to remain steady. The U.S. managers who were sent to Israel to drive the integration settled in quickly and were effective in their new roles.

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