Case Study

The Power of Hybrid Strategies in PE Acquisition Integration

Successfully combining executive search and interim solutions addressed leadership and operational challenges in a PE acquisition and integration phase, ensuring a smooth transition and immediate progress.

By Kathleen Dunton

The Client

A European PE-backed portfolio company active in the development, production, sale and support of state-of-the-art web-fed auxiliaries for a wide range of commercial, packaging and label printing applications. As part of a build and grow strategy, the company had recently expanded their offering to include chemicals for the printing industry through the acquisition of a small family-owned and led business.

The Challenges

With the exit of the owner and leader, there was an immediate demand for a manager capable of leading the acquired business, establishing processes and structures, in particular in finance, to allow accurate reporting and controlling during the integration phase.

Simultaneously, a permanent Managing Director from the industry was required for the long-term strategic and operational leadership with full P&L re­sponsi­bility. Main tasks included driving growth of revenue and margin in line with the ob­jec­tives and ensuring financial transparency, as well as identifying areas of improvement. Expansion outside of Europe necessitated international experience, in particular in order to develop the US market.

Located in a region with a very specific local mindset and culture, the future leader needed to speak the ‘language’ in order to be accepted locally and at the same time act as the bridge to the main company in a different European country.  A tight market with few players who were well-known to each other required a high degree of discretion and confidentiality.

The Solution

After determining the timelines and critical immediate requirements, a strategy was developed to provide an experienced interim Finance Manager while simultaneously searching for a seasoned professional in the print chemicals and technology sector. In a niche market with few key players in the designated country, close collaboration would ensure a professional and targeted approach.

The Results

Within days, an interim Finance Manager was put in place to establish the finance function, implement processes and structures to meet reporting requirements while leading the organization in the transition phase.

A thorough and systematic search led to the hiring of a seasoned Managing Director and recognized professional with an extensive international network in the industry who had previously lived in the designated area and built up the US market for a former employer. While maintaining the notice period from the current employer, active participation in on-going projects and site visits before formerly on-boarding allowing a smooth transition and start.

About the Author
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