How do you account for BRL Hardy’s remarkable post-merger success?
Prior to the BRL and Hardy merger both companies were rivals with diverse views of the wine industry. Due to the varying views both companies had different organizational structures and approaches. Hardy was a family owned business focused on producing great wine. In 1853 Thomas Hardy acquired land near, Adelaide which is in South Australia. Thomas used the land to plant vines, by 1857 he produced his first vintage, and two hogsheads were exported to England. By 1882 hardy won his first international gold medal at Bordeaux. At the time of Thomas’ death in 1912, Hardy was the largest winemaker in Australia. Hardy became known for award-winning, quality wines, and the company focused on global external brand awareness. BRL on the other hand focused on commercial exporting, the cooperative was referred to as “the oil refinery of the wine industry”, and the company was more concerned with quantity rather than quality. BRL specialized in fortified, bulk, and value wines and it was the second largest crush in Australia. Both BRL and Hardy were respected in the wine market, unfortunately both companies were suffering financial losses and the merger of both companies was the best alternative. According to an ex-BRL manager, “we had access to fruit, funds, and disciplines management; Hardy brought marketing expertise, brands and winemaking know-how”. The above mentioned characteristics added to the success of the BRL Hardy merger. The newly formed company focused on client retention, branding and cost savings. Steve Miller, CEO of the newly merged company focused on his first task, the financial situation. Since both companies performed poorly the previous year, Miller wanted to protect its share of the bulk cask business and concentrate on branded bottle sales growth. Another aspect that added to the success of the merger was Miller’s awareness of the differences in culture and...
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