In 2016, JCDecaux was number one in the world in outdoor advertising. This was a far cry from the situation in 2003; at that time, JCDecaux had been unseated by Clear Channel from the number-one spot that it had held for decades, and it was fighting for second place with OUTFRONT (then owned by Viacom). Over the 12 intervening years, JCDecaux had doubled in size, building leadership positions in China, Japan, Latin America, Africa, and Russia, and in 2010, it had passed Clear Channel to lead the industry once more. Now, co-CEOs Jean-François Decaux and Jean-Charles Decaux were looking for new ways and new places to grow. After the company overtook Clear Channel in 2010, Jean-François had indicated that he believed that another doubling in size was feasible, but it would probably take a major acquisition to do so. And JCDecaux faced more pressing short-term issues. The contract for London bus shelters that the company had won with much fanfare in August 2015 was behind schedule. Originally intended to showcase JCDecaux’s digital capabilities, the project was rolling out much more slowly than planned. To make matters worse, the United Kingdom’s June 2016 “Brexit” vote to leave the European Union cast a shadow over the project, and the markets reacted negatively. By the start of November, JCDecaux’s share price had fallen 21% since the beginning of the year. Just what the economic uncertainty of Brexit would mean for global outdoor advertising in general, and U.K. outdoor advertising in particular, was not clear. Doubling in size in such an environment appeared a daunting task.
In 2014, Medtronic was about to execute a $50 billion acquisition of Ireland-based Covidien. Medtronic CEO Omar Ishrak was committed to building the largest medical technology company in the world while broadening its ability to fulfill its mission of “alleviating pain, restoring health, and extending life” for millions more patients every year. The acquisition plan might change when, in September 2014, U.S. Secretary Jacob Lew issued new rules for American companies seeking to change their legal domicile through mergers with foreign companies – so-called tax inversion. Should Medtronic proceed with the acquisition? What would be the challenges of integration for both organizations?
On December 1, 2014, Medtronic announced that it had completed a $17 billion bond sale to finance the Covidien acquisition, officially completed on January 26, 2015. Medtronic’s legal headquarters moved to Ireland, while its operational headquarters remained in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In this case study, Medtronic CEO Omar Ishrak reflects back on the integration progress since the deal’s completion and offers his perspective as a global leader.
See more research
Vincent Dessain, a Belgian national, is the Executive Director of the Europe Research Center (ERC). Vincent has extensive management and business education experience. He is a co-author of two books in finance, a book chapter on intercultural management and a co-author of a wide variety of articles in academic journals, case studies and course development notes (cases can be found on https://cb.hbsp.harvard.edu/ or here). He is a frequent guest speaker invited by academia, business and government to speak on topics in management and education.
Prior to his appointment at the Europe Research Center, he was Senior Director of Corporate Relationships at INSEAD in Fontainebleau and elected as the representative of the INSEAD administration on the School’s Board of Directors. Earlier in his career, Vincent has been active as a management consultant with Booz-Allen & Hamilton in New York and Paris. His field of consulting was international market entry strategies, financial products, strategy, negotiation and implementation of cross border alliances, financial restructuring, mergers and acquisitions. He has also been active as a Foreign Associate with the law firm Shearman & Sterling in New York in Banking and Finance and as an Advisor to the President of the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium.
Vincent speaks five European languages (French, English, German, Dutch and Italian). He holds a law degree from Leuven University (Belgium), a Business Administration degree from Louvain University (Belgium), an MBA from Harvard Business School (Boston, USA), and a PhD in management and communication from Université Paris VIII, France, on corporate social responsibility.