Wolters Brewery (A): Negotiating Restructuring
(6 pages of text)
Part (A) of this case series presents the situation of a multinational brewer, InBev, having acquired several breweries in Germany, and wishing to proceed with operational integration and the closure of smaller, less efficient plants. This move triggers resistance not only from the local workforce, but the local community. For InBev, this is a case of corporate restructuring and strategy implementation. Yet for a group of local entrepreneurs, this is an opportunity to plot a management buy-out (MBO) and to recreate a historical local brewery. The case is designed as a business negotiation setting that brings together Inbev, the local entrepreneurs, the city council, and a local bank (instructions for four teams involved in the negotiations are provided in the teaching note). The case can also be used as a conventional case on entrepreneurship or strategy implementation.
Suggested classroom use:
- Business negotiations (MBO team versus global multinational enterprise versus local city council versus local bank).
- Entrepreneurship (MBO: preparing a business plan).
- Strategy (strategy implementation involving discontinuation of an operation and lay-off of staff, business-government interfaces at a local level).
- International business (global-local tensions in the process of restructuring and integration of acquired businesses).
- Marketing (local brand strategy, exporting at an early stage [B-case]).
Germany, Medium, 2005, 2011
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