Case Study

ISS acquisition strategy (C): 2008

11 pages
April 2012
Reference: IMD-3-2284

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 (C) describes ISS in 2008 just after the financial crisis, with a new executive team facing a decision on whether or not to continue on with the acquisition path they had being pursuing over the previous 10 years. The case describes in details the arguments for and the arguments against continuing on the acquisition path.

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
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