Four M&A brand and product integration strategies published in the world’s top academic journal

Mergers and acquisitions (M&As) have become a common strategy for many firms seeking rapid growth and enhanced value. Brands and products play a central role in most organisations.

In many M&As brands and products are their main objective (motive), especially in the horizontal ones where the merging firms have similar or competing brands and products. Therefore, the value generated in horizontal M&As seems to be strongly related to the management of merging brands and products owned by the acquiring and acquired firms. In the area of product or brand integration in M&As, the amount of the research is rather small. However, these are very limited in terms of implementing product and brand integration in M&As and by no means comprehensive. They provide neither strategies nor specific guidelines for integrating brands and products effectively. Further research is urgently required to fill this gap and therefore is the focus of the research paper entitled “brand and product integration in horizontal mergers and acquisitions” which is published in the world’s top journal in international management - European Journal of International Management.

Being analysed from 13 international horizontal M&A cases, 4 main strategies for integrating brands and products are developed and synthesised - ‘Choice’, ‘Growth Maximisation’, Harmonisation’ and ‘Foundation’. These strategies act as strategic directions for firms to follow and to integrate brands and products in post-horizontal M&As in order to create and deliver value and competitiveness. Each main integration strategy contains a set of different sub-strategies (18 in total) which aim to achieve the same objective set by its umbrella integration strategy. The paper also builds the linkage between the integration sub-strategies and the two currently-in-use views - positioning and resource-based - from the strategic management perspective. Through in-depth case studies and analyses, a broader view towards ‘brand’ is developed and discussed in which the successful management of brands requires paying close attention to both the external customer franchise and the internal organisational system and culture.

Reference to this paper should be made as follows: Vu, D.A.*, Shi, Y. and Gregory, M. (2010) ‘Brand and product integration in horizontal mergers and acquisitions’, European Journal of International Management, Vol. 4, Nos. 1/2, pp.79-119.

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* Dr Vu Anh Dzung. Anh Vu is currently Vice Dean of International Economics and Business Faculty, University of Economics and Business - Vietnam National University, Hanoi. He graduated from University of Cambridge with a PhD in International Operations Management.


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