Friday, 8 February 2013

Liberty Global to buy Virgin Media for $23.3bn

Interesting example of related diversification in order to achieve the critcal mass required to compete with the biggest player in the market. It is also interesting to note how some hi-tech industries are intergrated.

'The merger, subject to shareholder and regulatory approval, puts Mr Malone in competition with Rupert Murdoch, whose media empire owns 39% of BSkyB.'

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AOL sees revenue growth for first time in eight years

'In the fourth quarter, advertising revenue - a key measure for the company as it moves away from subscription-based dial-up services to focus on its media outlets such as the Huffington Post - rose 13% to $410.6m.'

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The Most Common Strategy Mistakes

Interesting insights from the most influential author and researcher in strategic managment.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Microsoft buys and licenses AOL patents in $1bn deal

Internet companies always struggle to monetise; it is interesting how a market of patents is emerging and how some traditional companies (like AOL) can profit from it.
Microsoft buys and licenses AOL patents in $1bn deal
Microsoft is buying the majority of AOL's patents in a deal worth $1.06bn (£668m).
A statement said the agreement covers the intellectual property rights to more than 800 innovations.
Microsoft will also be granted licensing rights to about 300 patents that AOL is keeping.

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Tuesday, 17 January 2012

RBS Sells Aviation Business to Sumitomo Mitsui for $7.3 Billion

This is a good example of how companies that struggle with their finance would develop their strategy as returning to their core competencies and main activities. This is an interesting example of a company that tried to create synergies between two largely unrelated business units. In theory, Banks/Financial Institutions with the large number of clients could create synergies in all sort of business, however this case shows that the lack of expertise (and probably the economic climate did not allow for the synergies to be developed); it is worth mentioning that aircraft leasing is a considerably larger business in N. America which has never really developed in Europe.

RBS Sells Aviation Business to Sumitomo Mitsui for $7.3 Billion

By Gavin Finch and Takahiko Hyuga

Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc is selling its aviation leasing unit to Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. for about $7.3 billion, the biggest disposal by the state-owned lender since its U.K.-government bailout in 2008

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Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Google adds IBM patents as it looks to future

Acquiring resources to implement strategies. Google's strategy is to entre/dominate the social networking market. Although, as a company it is capable of innovating on online technologies, it struggles with social networking; buying them from IBM gives Google quick access to resources. It is also interesting to note that IBM is now building technologies that it is not for its own use. This seems like an RBV strategy, to use its assets for developing resources that will sell to others.

Google adds IBM patents as it looks to future

Google has gained hundreds of patents from IBM as it continues its intellectual property spending spree.
It has acquired 187 patents and 36 applications, adding to the 1,000 it purchased from IBM last summer.

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Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Superdry firm Supergroup's profit hit by warehouse cost

Good example of how Primary and Supporting activities influence performance.

Superdry firm Supergroup's profit hit by warehouse cost
Superdry owner Supergroup has reported a dip in half-year profits after being hit by problems at a warehouse that affected supplies of its clothing.
Underlying pre-tax profits for the six months to 30 October were £13m, down from £13.5m last year, after it took a £4m hit for the supply problems

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Monday, 28 November 2011

Daimler to axe luxury cars subsidiary Maybach

This is a good example of a Corporate level strategy. Daimler deduced that the performance of the Mayback SBU was not at the expected level and decided to withdraw. The figures for this decision are very interesting, the sales were only 20% of the target set.
Another very interesting point is that Daimler is going to re-enter the luxury end of the market with a new strategy: 'the firm is expected to target the low-priced section of the luxury market' which could be linked to the price leadership generic strategy even at the luxury market.

Daimler to axe luxury cars subsidiary Maybach

German industrial group Daimler is preparing to disband its ultra-luxurious Maybach car marque.
The decision follows almost a decade of trying to make Maybach a profitable rival to Rolls Royce and Bentley.

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Thursday, 24 November 2011

India to open market to global supermarket chains

Good example of how a Legal factor for an emerging market can lead to new International Strategies for existing players in this industry.

India to open market to global supermarket chains

India has approved long-awaited proposals to open up the retail market to global supermarket chains.
Food Minister KV Thomas said the cabinet has agreed to 51% foreign ownership of multi-brand retail stores, allowing groups like Wal-Mart and Tesco to open stores.

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Friday, 28 October 2011

The end of the 'Sony Ericsson' Affair

This is a good case study of JV that never really worked as expected. One of the most interesting pieces of information was the fact that Sony was reluctant to link the handsets to the rest of its products which are very successful, fearing that Ericsson would had been benefited. This is also a very good example of how companies seeks to develop synergies based on their core competence. Sony has a great range of unique resources and core competences which should be linked to the handset.
It is quite interesting that when this JV was established the handset industry was not linked to any of other products by Sony.

Some articles for the full story:;

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Nokia bets on Windows Phone future

Quite a few interesting lessons from Nokia's new strategy:
i) new strategy was developed by the new CEO which links to leadership styles;
ii) Nokia seems to be trying to develop a new segment in the market, which is a gamble, but its potential 'billion people';
iii) interesting to note how Nokia tries to differentiate from direct competitors with services (think VCA);
iv) Nokia's new strategy is based on a strategic alliance. This strategic alliance is particularly interesting because Microsoft does not have its own handsets (in contrast to Apple and Google).

Nokia bets on Windows Phone future

Finnish mobile phone maker Nokia has launched two new smartphones based on Microsoft's new Windows Phone 7.5 operating system.
The Lumia 800 and the Lumia 710 mark the beginning of Nokia's fightback against Apple's iPhone and rivals using Google's Android software

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Monday, 3 October 2011

Amazon unveils £130 iPad rival

The 'battle' of the tablets has some very interesting points (from strategic management). Although, the tablets are not technologically superior to existing devices (ie laptops), they are entertainment items, and Apple has create a new segment in the market. The success of these products lays with the complimentarities that are to be developed with the rest of the products (ie iPad and iphone). Amazon offers the new tablet as 'ungrade' to kiddle which quite dominant in its market. Amazon seeks to establish synergies between the Kindle Fire and its e-books, mp3s businesses. It is quite interesting that Amazon is expected to seek access to the mobile handsets for greater coverage of the market (as Google recently did with buying Motorola's handset business unit). Also, amazon's strategy is a very good example of 'low cost leadership' as it is losing about $50 per device.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Hewlett Packard to exit computing and buy Autonomy

This is a good case study for a number of strategic management concepts:
i) planned and emergent strategies: a few months ago HP had announced that they will concentrate on WebOS which has not produced the expected results; HP is quick in changing strategy, even if it must be very financially painful for them.
ii) exit from its cash-cow business: selling pc BU which is considered the biggest in the world. Interpreting the justification from a strategic management perspective, it seems that the software segment has larger profit margins. Interesting to note that this refocusing is a combined with the acquisition of Autonomy.
iii) the refocusing of the business is based on the expertise of its new CEO who has joined from SAP.
The article draws the parallel between HP and IBM a decate ago, but there is a fundamental difference; IBM was not No. 1 when decided to diversify. Also, HP's history of mergers has shown that it is not the most adaptable and flexible company.

Hewlett Packard to exit computing and buy Autonomy

Hewlett Packard has confirmed plans to stop making PCs, tablets and phones, in order to refocus on software.
It has also emerged that the US company has agreed to buy UK software firm Autonomy for £7.1bn ($11.7bn).

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Monday, 15 August 2011

Google to buy Motorola Mobility for $12.5bn

Good example of an acquisition which serves as diversification-focus strategy by Motoral and an external growth strategy by Google. Motoral has lost the battle for the handsets, so focuses in the corporate and government solutions sector where it is well placed. Google does not have the time to grow organically its handset SBU to compete with the other smartphones and hopes that its existing core competences and SBUs could help develop synergies.

Google to buy Motorola Mobility for $12.5bn
Internet giant Google has announced a deal to buy Motorola Mobility for $12.5bn (£7.7bn).
A joint statement said the boards of both companies had unanimously approved the deal, which should be completed by the end of this year, or early in 2012.
Earlier this year, Motorola split into two separate companies.
Mobility develops and manufactures mobile phones, while Motorola Solutions covers wider technologies for corporate customers and governments.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

News Corporation and BSkyB takeover

Let aside the political issues of this takeover or merger, what is interesting from a strategic management perspective is the efforts of News Corp to develop synergies ( between different media platforms. This is a clear corporate direction (see a good review of the various attempts An interesting question is why BSkyB was not part of the News Corp from the beginning since it was established by the same company (for a brief history/evolution of the company see:, which should probably be attributed to risk management by News Corp. The other point which worth taking is that merger is the only strategic option as the legislation would not allow for collaborations and synergies via some sort of strategic alliance.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Why is Tesco struggling in the US?

Good example of MNEs and how companies struggle to apply their business model in (theoretically) similar markets. Also, it is worth noticing how Tesco has changed its strategy in US in order to position itself to a segment of the market which was pretty saturated.

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Monday, 28 February 2011

Product placement ban on British TV lifted

Interesting to follow the evolution of this Legal factor. Firstly, there was Economical pressures both at macro and micro level and then there is the Political as there was a clear indication in 2009 that a change in the Political Environment (government change) would change the Legal factors (see the FT article from 2009

Product placement ban on British TV lifted
A ban on product placement has been lifted, allowing advertisers to pay for their goods to be seen on British TV.
Paid-for references to products and services are now permitted for the first time in shows produced in the UK, including soaps and one-off dramas.

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Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Diageo to buy Turkish spirits firm Mey Icki

Good example of how a large established player in mature markets, seeks expansion in emerging markets via M&A. This acquisition is consistent with Diageos previous international strategies.

Diageo’s Turkish Delight
Diageo’s acquisition of Turkey’s Mey IƧki from private equity firm TPG Capital today was not a real surprise, as nascent talks between the drink makers were first reported here back in December last year.
For the London-based drinks giant the numbers appear to add up.

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Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Peugeot and BMW form hybrid components joint-venture

Good example of Collaboration, Network Level Strategy. This is a Joint Venture between to well established rival companies in the automarket. This collaboration concerns a segment of the market that none of them entered in the early stages. It concerns a Macro-External factor (technology) which was an uncertainty in the previous decade and has now created a new segment in the market. As usual most of JV are driven by R&D needs. It is also interesting to note that in other industry these companies would had considered a stronger collaboration (Merger?) but it is well established that European governmenets will not give in easily on such mergers.

Peugeot and BMW form hybrid components joint-venture

French car maker PSA Peugeot Citroen and Germany's BMW have extended their engine partnership by creating a joint venture to develop, purchase and produce powertrain components for hybrid vehicles.

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additional article with more analysis on the same topic:

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Easyjet paint job makes fuel bills less of a drag

This is an example of how macro external factor (technology) can impact operations. It is an interesting one because nano-technology is always an uncertainty for scenario planning.

Easyjet paint job makes fuel bills less of a drag
By Jonathan Sumberg Transport reporter, BBC News

How to cut the costs of flying? It's one of the key questions facing the aviation industry.
With the price of a barrel of oil at about $100, airlines are having to think of new - and often ingenious - ways to save money.

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