Supporting a business transfer in a context of major crisis

Initial situation

This SME is the world market leader in the ultrasonic measurement of moving liquids. In 2012, its founder died suddenly and the heirs wanted to liquidate the company. The technical manager is convinced that the company still has development potential and convinces the heirs to continue the adventure.

Although very attached to the company, he never had the ambition to take it over. He hesitates, then imagines doing it temporarily and approaching a large group to sell him the company. He would like to be coached to carry out this process.

How it happened

Initially, it was necessary to solve the transmission problems, made very complicated by the deaths, two weeks apart, of the company’s founder and one of his sons. It was also necessary to restructure the company, which had been heavily indebted and loss-making for several years.

Instead of rushing headlong down the only path to a transitional takeover of the company, we broadened the discourse and proposed to conduct a strategic reflection in order to evaluate other possible solutions.

We thus focused on the intrinsic values of the company and the values that the new director wanted to defend. We have set realistic five-year targets, both financially, commercially and technologically. Thus, the new director realised that he was ready to take up the challenge.

After two years of increasingly spaced out coaching, we launched an internal organisation project to support the director in the development of his activities. We helped him implement a small ERP (Enterprise Resources Planning) to manage purchasing, sales and accounting. This allows him to concentrate on the development of the 6th product generation.

Result

A generous transfer proposal: The heirs waived the postponed claims, settled the creditors’ open invoices and sold the company for a symbolic price. This has enabled us to start again on a sound basis, which nevertheless needs to be well managed. Coaching that creates the trigger: with the right questions asked and realistic scenarios drawn up, the first effect of the coaching was to reveal the potential of the new director and to lead him to gain self-confidence. In his own words: “My fear overcame, I managed to land a big Boeing that was crashing. We dismantled the aircraft with Isabelle Durafourg and built a lighter and more flexible aircraft. I have found a new vocation as an entrepreneur. “Anagile management system: An ERP, both simple and complete, has been set up. It provides all the important information for good management. The company is thus armed to take a new step forward. It is in the process of initiating a phase of expansion…

Strategos SA is a consulting firm in strategy, organisational transformation, evaluation and skill building.
We enable institutions to develop and innovate through pragmatic and daring approaches that respect people and organisational needs.

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