Taking over a company
In this video around the subject of taking over a company, Michèle Detaille shares her story:
- Why a takover
- How to choose
- Should you be picky
- Why encourage takeovers?
Michèle Detaille is the managing director of the Alipa group since 1996. Discover more on alipa.lu.
Subtitles are available in english and french.
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Transcription de l'intervention de Michèle Detaille
Why a takeover?
I think it’s mostly a question of timing. When you create, you start from scratch, so it takes more time. With a takeover, you buy something that was already made. So, you start at a different stage, it saves a few years. Of course, a takeover means you have money which generally means you’re a bit older. Usually, younger people create something because they don’t have the finances to buy.
How to choose?
What’s important is to know your abilities. My associate and I didn’t really have any technical or scientific training. We were just good managers. Him in finances and me in sales. So, we looked for something that could suit us. Nothing too technical or scientific. Although we had some money, our resources weren’t endless so we couldn’t buy a big company with large investments. I think that’s the key. You have to know yourself and your means and feel comfortable with the business you’re taking over. Another criterion, for example, we got rid of the B2C right away. We wanted to be completely in B2B. It’s a choice that we made, but it’s not the only choice. Each person has to decide what they’re comfortable with and be sure not to get their assessment wrong.
Should you be picky?
Before purchasing No-Nail Boxes, we took a quick look at about a hundred others and a close look at… probably ten, and a very close look at five or six. So, it was the outcome of a long process. I always say that when we took over No-Nail Boxes, we walked into the workshop and said “Mmmm, the smell of wood!” That’s our anecdote, but it’s not really what made up our minds. No, it was an analysis. It was a good match with what we knew how to do. Not overly technical, a product, not services, a financial scope we could manage with the help of the bank, B2B… and a company that was healthy, because for a first, my associate and I decided we wanted to take over something that was doing well, not a company that was struggling.
Why encourage takeovers?
There are a lot of companies to take over here in Luxembourg in light of demographic changes. And when there’s no one to take over, it’s a real loss of value.