Buying companies for a large international group

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Directeur du développement international de Lafarge-Matériaux de spécialités et Lafarge-Plâtres

Seminar Business life | Friday October 2, 1998

Larfarge has constantly to reinforce its existing position or else move into a new expanding territory. External development is essential. In the construction materials sector, companies are generally family-based. In order to succeed in a business deal, personal contact has to be made initially with the boss. This is a process which takes time and requires manpower. There is a risk of exhausting one's resources. To compensate for this, management has developed a strategy which enables business developers to maximise their efforts. The acquisition process, however, should not be considered finished once the sale has been completed, because the process of getting the company 'up and running' is always necessary. Occasional neglect of this phase has resulted in Lafarge subsequently having to withdraw from acquisitions. As a result, the group now adopts a rigorous procedure. Finally, the employees of the new company must be integrated into a group which brings together people with very diverse cultural origins.

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This session was published in issue n°15 of the Journal de l'École de Paris du management, entitled Gérer en souplesse .

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