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Case Studies by Joost de Haas

2 case studies

by Publication Date
published: 26 Jul 2019

  • Topic: Entrepreneurship
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
The case describes how a loss-making ferry company was brought back to financial health, modernised and recapitalised in less than two years, amidst a context of political pressure, stakeholder hostility and a €600 million fine from the European Union. The Société Nationale Maritime Corse Méditerranée (SNCM) was sinking under the weight of French blockades and belligerent unions. Ferries were hijacked and a million people took to the streets to protest against potential job losses, disrupting passenger services to/from Corsica at the peak of the summer season. In May 2014, Guillaume de Feydeau was appointed CEO to devise a turnaround plan to save the former state-owned company from bankruptcy. The new management team not only had to master the political and social intricacies of the situation, but time was of the essence: the majority shareholder wanted out and cash was running dangerously low.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case focuses on: • How to develop a turnaround plan. • How to analyse stakeholders’ positions. • How to navigate through a politically sensitive environment. Key takeaway: • Aligning all stakeholders around a common objective is vital to succeed with a turnaround plan, as well as ensuring on-going, open and transparent communication.

Keywords:
Turnaround, Restructuring, Bankruptcy, Nationalisation, Trade Unions, Corsica, Local Government, European Commission/union, Privatization, State Aid, Eu Regulation

published: 24 Mar 2014

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Abstract:
Vendex KBB is at crisis point at the end of 2004, especially its flagship V&D department stores. A consortium of private-equity investors led by KKR, who bought the business a year earlier, persuade retail veteran Tony DeNunzio to take on the challenge of turning the diversified holding company around. Reluctant at first, he agrees, but only for three years and thereafter for 18 months part time. His mandate is clear: to turn around the iconic Dutch business by adding value to all stakeholders, not just the PE firm, a mission made more difficult by the reputation PE firms have recently acquired as 'barbarians at the gate'. About to embark on his first 100 days, what should he do on his first day?

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case and films demonstrate how good leadership in a crisis, together with a clear turnaround plan, can save an ailing company. They underline the importance of the first 100 days after taking over. Difficult decisions need to be taken for the future of the company, but in the end they pay off, and communication with all stakeholders is key. The case can be used to illustrate that it can be easier to turn around a company under private ownership with a strong financial focus, and that PE takeovers can be less about “milking the cow” than adding value for all stakeholders, not just investors.

Keywords:
Turnaround, Crisis Management, Private Equity, Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Retail, Corporate Governance, Value Creation, Strategy and Implementation, European Competitiveness, Europe, Gpei, Gpei-Case

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