Case | HBS Case Collection | January 1997

Dr. Sergio Ceccuzzi and SMI: Negotiating Cross-Border Acquisitions in Europe (B)

by James K. Sebenius

Abstract

Since the 1960s, SMI has quietly executed a series of brilliantly negotiated takeovers throughout Europe, often acquiring companies much larger than itself. Despite formidable obstacles, SMI has managed to acquire state-owned competitors in Italy and France, as well as a tightly held semi-finished copper producer--one of Europe's largest--in "fortress" Germany, a country notoriously hostile to takeover bids from foreign firms. In an interview with the chairman of SMI's copper operations at the company's Florence headquarters, Prof. J.K. Sebenius of the Harvard Business School explores the negotiating strategies that have enabled what was once a little-known firm in Italy to consolidate a fragmented industry and become one of Europe's leading producers of semi-finished copper.

Keywords: Acquisition; Corporate Governance; International Relations; Negotiation Tactics; Consolidation; Mining Industry; Europe;

Citation:

Sebenius, James K. "Dr. Sergio Ceccuzzi and SMI: Negotiating Cross-Border Acquisitions in Europe (B)." Harvard Business School Case 897-085, January 1997.