Case Study

ISS acquisition strategy (B): 2007

18 pages
April 2012
Reference: IMD-3-2283

This case is about driving a serial acquisition strategy – a 10 year journey for ISS, one of the largest integrated facilities services companies in the world. Through its 600 acquisitions over 10 years, the company transformed from being a Nordic cleaning company to a global powerhouse in integrated facilities services offering what the company calls ‘the full house’ of services including: cleaning, catering, security, office support and landscape services. Case (B) describes ISS in the middle of pursuing the acquisitions. It describes the role of Jens Olesen, Head of M&A traveling to the various countries pursuing the acquisitions in an attempt to develop a ‘best practices integration approach’ for the group given the types of acquisitions that the company has pursued in the past. He travels to Spain, Switzerland, and India who have encountered very different types of acquisitions. The participants are then asked – in separate groups – to extract how the integration path should work for each of these types of acquisitions – bolt-on acquisitions which concern geographic expansion of the same service activity, platform acquisitions, which consist of expansion into a new service activity, and transform acquisitions, which concern expansion into facilities management.

Learning Objective

Overall the learning objectives are threefold: 1) Determining the nature and organization scope of acquisition programs; 2) Recognizing the different approaches to acquisition integration depending on the strategic overlap with the existing business and need for cultural autonomy; 3) Recognizing when to stop acquisition programs as they can quickly take a life of their own.

Mergers and Acquisitions, Acquisition Integration
Field Research
© 2012
Available Languages
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