Strategic Alliances, Mergers and Acquisitions
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Strategic Alliances, Mergers and Acquisitions

The Influence of Culture on Successful Cooperation

Edited by Jan Ulijn, Geert Duysters and Elise Meijer

This unique book focuses on the link between different types of culture (national, corporate, professional) and the success of strategic alliances, mergers and acquisitions.
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Chapter 6: Strategic Importance of Organizational Culture in the Context of Organizational Growth through Acquisitions: The Case of the Helios Group

Nada Zupan and Robert Kaše


Nada Zupan and Robert Kaše INTRODUCTION The Helios Group is a Slovenian corporation and the largest producer of paints and coatings1 in Central and South-Eastern Europe. It achieved this position through a strategy of business expansion, mostly through acquisitions and some other forms of strategic alliances. At the end of 2005, which is the year of our case study, the Group consisted of 14 companies in Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, the Czech Republic, Poland and Russia. Among them are also the three companies for which we have analysed the cultural fit: Helios (Slovenia, the mother company), Zvezda Helios (Serbia, acquired in 2003) and Color (Slovenia, acquired in 2004). These two acquisitions were the most important among all growth activities up to that point and through them the Group significantly increased its manufacturing capacities in the domestic market as well as abroad. In 2005 there was a total of 1888 employees in the Group, of which 593 were employed outside Slovenia. They created almost €300 million of turnover and achieved a net income of €14.5 million. The mother company Helios is a typical Slovenian transitional company which has successfully used the opportunities offered through the transition process to a market economy both in Slovenia and in the region of Eastern and South-Eastern Europe. The whole process of Slovenia’s transition from a Yugoslav republic (until 1991) to an EU member state (in May 2004) is rather complex and is explained in great detail in a book by Mrak et al. (2004), hence...

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