Royal Biscuit Company
Problems, Decisions, Recommendations
Wasser Consultants has received from Sir John Callaghan the report containing the difficulties facing the merger of Royal Biscuit Company and Edeling GmbH, seeking advice to resolve the issues impeding the progress. The company has forwarded the case to me given the experience I had working with the Royal Biscuit management on numerous consulting projects previously. The pending merger between England’s Royal Biscuit Company and Germany’s Edeling GmbH was supposed to be an amicable "merger of equals"; an example of European togetherness and a synergistic deal that would create the world's second-largest consumer foods company from two former rivals. However, the marriage between the entrepreneurial powerhouse Royal Biscuit and the conservative family-owned Edeling GmbH is proving more problematic than expected. The integration planning is behind schedule, with Royal Biscuit HR head Michael Brighton and Edeling HR head Dieter Wallach disagreeing on the framework and organizational structure of the leadership development plan for the merged company. The distinct ways the two companies operate pre-merger makes the collaboration difficult, especially given that the details of the new organizational structure have to be presented to the stockholders in less than a month. Furthermore, the press from both countries are questioning whether the “merger-of-equals” is really equal and publishing the negative opinions of the employees of both companies. It seems like the culture clash may push the merger back, or it may even prevent it from happening. This document contains my analysis of the main issues facing the merger and the main decisions Royal Biscuit and Edeling have to undertake to allow the merger to progress. It also contains recommendations and implementation plans for the merger to be successful. Please...