Daimler is the 13th largest car manufacturer in the world and is Germanys largest industrial group. At the time of the merger in 1997, Daimler Benz (as it was known) had just 1% share of the US market, was incredibly labour intensive in its production methods and lacked the economies of scale that leading car manufacturers enjoy.
Chrysler was founded in 1925 and has over 50,000 employees throughout the world. Chrysler suffered in the recent recession and in 2008 was the subject of a $12.5 billion bailout by the US Government. However, in the mid 1990s Chrysler was the most profitable car business in the world and held a 23% market share in the US. Despite their
American success, the company was overshadowed in Europe by rival American and Japanese car manufacturers.
"The Merger of Equals" Jurgen Schrempp (Daimler Chairman): "This is a historic merger that will change the face of the automotive industry Newsweek: DaimlerChrysler was "the worst-executed big takeover since God invented corporations."
Success or failure?
By around 2005, the merger began to unravel and in 2006 DaimlerChrysler reported losses of around $1.5 billion. In 2007, they also announced 13,000 job losses as the group teied to return to profitability and in 2007
Daimler and Chrysler demerged.
Ben & Jerry’s (USA)
Unilever - Anglo Dutch consumer conglomerate, owning hundreds of food, personal care and home care products from Persil to Oxo, Lynx to Liptons tea, Dove to Flora. At the time of this takeover they had also just acquired Slim-Fast.
Unilever has recently decided to concentrate on 400 key brands and dispose of up to 1,200 less profitable brands.
Unilever paid £203m, at $43.6 a share, a big premium over the previous day's closing share price of $34.93.
Formed in 1978 by two school friends in
Vermont, USA. Known for its quirky flavours and natural ingredients, with a strong social aspect to the business; in
1985 Ben & Jerry's Foundation receives 7.5% of annual pre-tax profits. Ben & Jerry's established a distinctive position in a market which had previously been dominated by mass market brands
Walls and Lyons Maid, with Haagen-Dazs leading the luxury sector. In 1999, Ben & Jerry's had sales of $237m, 90% of which were in North America. Operating income was $13.5m.
Unilever: " this takes us into the super premium category for the first time. Ben & Jerry's is an incredibly strong brand name with a unique consumer message. We are determined to nurture its commitment to community values." Ben and Jerry's:"...joining forces with Unilever will create an even more dynamic, socially positive ice cream business with a much more global reach."
Success or failure?
Unilever dominates the ice cream market. Ben &
Jerry's is the only Unilever brand with its own board and its own CEO; social conscience remains important – e.g. support for the Occupy movement. They retain their factories in Vermont, where they employ 600 people to manufacture
90% of the ice cream they sell in the US.
Pearson PLC is both the largest education company and the largest book publisher in the world. In 2010, Pearson’s sales were
£5.7bn, achieving a profit of £857 million. Pearson provides educational materials, technologies, assessments and related services to teachers and students of all ages.
Edexcel is one of England,
Wales and Northern Ireland's five main educational examination boards, and is wholly owned by the privatesector Pearson PLC making it the UK's only privately owned exam board (all the others are