Strategic Fit in Mergers and Acquisitions : A Case Study of Volvo Cars
Abstract (Summary)Today’s business world hosts a phenomenon, a way to expand business activities by con-solidating or buying another company, so called Mergers or Acquisitions (M&As). It is a way to grow quicker and enter new markets than otherwise would not have been possible without M&As. Within the automotive industry this phenomenon has been seen frequently with examples like the Renault-Nissan, DaimlerChrysler-Mitsubishi and Ford Motor Com-pany-Volvo Cars team-ups. The last mentioned is particularly interesting since there have been talks implying Ford to sell Volvo Cars due to a harsh financial position.M&As can be successful or less successful. In order to get the most out of a partnership it is important to do some research before deciding what to do. It can be done through a due diligence process, through identifying if there is a strategic fit, i.e. if the companies actually fit each other’s goals etc., and if and how the partners can benefit from each other. One ex-ample of the latter is the complement of each other’s strengths and weaknesses. A model of strategic fit such as the 4 Cs where the capability, compatibility, commitment and con-trol issues are brought attention for further evaluation. It can clearly be seen that these fac-tors should be considered when looking for a partner. Applying this between a potential buyer and Volvo Cars, new and reasonable owners/partners can be identified.In this study an inductive approach has been used. An inductive approach means that the researcher collects data and from this data develops a theory. The study is furthermore ex-ploratory, meaning that the researcher seeks new insights of a phenomenon, finds out “what is happening” and seeks new insights into the area. A cross sectional approach is taken as it is not the authors’ aim to describe a long-run development but rather to give a view of what happens in a special moment. It has been decided that a case study will be done to narrow down the study and to provide an example of a current situation where strategic fit plays a vital role. The study is qualitative by nature as the authors aim to de-velop an understanding of a complex phenomenon.In the search for secondary data 725 articles were reviewed and from them 32 were chosen. Out of these articles six potential buyers were identified and their appropriateness was dis-cussed with a source with insight in the automotive industry. The primary data was col-lected through semi-structured interviews of which the majority was performed by phone.The very purpose of the study was to identify new potential buyers, which is also to be seen as partners, of Volvo Cars. In the pursuit of doing this a firm process had to be carried out. The strategic fit between Volvo Cars and a future potential buyer must be settled in or-der to indentify it. Out of the set of potential buyers some are more credible than others, due to their traits which fit Volvo Cars better than with others. The fit is also looked upon whether a new buyer needs to be a car manufacturer or not. This was a key in the study along with which synergistic gains could be realized in different scenarios and also which specific company out of the set that would be the most reasonable buyer. The conclusion is that, given the authors’ view of strategic fit presented in this thesis, the most reasonable partner of Volvo Cars would be Renault-Nissan. Further it was concluded that Volvo Cars will be bet-ter off if having a car manufacturer as a partner.What could be complicated was the actual outcome which was not known at the time of writing. Hence the authors have left a reasonable answer to whom Volvo Cars can be sold to in the future; it is not a definite one.
School:Högskolan i Jönköping
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Date of Publication:02/07/2008