Expanding a business through skilful acquisition
A Rolls-Royce case study

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Page 3: Identifying the new opportunity

Rolls Royce 7 Image 3Given the high levels of global competition in the modern world, a company like Rolls-Royce can survive and prosper only in those markets in which it is a dominant force. Opportunities for acquisition have been taken after careful evaluation. These opportunities have enabled the company to combine its own existing strengths with those of the excellent companies that it has acquired in order to build market leadership. The marine market has proved to be an outstanding opportunity for expansion for Rolls-Royce. There are two main reasons for this:

  • the marine industry is looking to increase the engine power associated with movement of passengers and freight by sea
  • the marine industry is under pressure     from governments to produce     engines that meet more demanding regulations on emissions.

It follows from this that the companies which are best placed to produce and supply marine equipment and systems that are powerful, efficient and environmentally friendly are likely to win the largest share of this market.

Rolls-Royce has developed a world-leading marine business that services customers in global commercial and naval markets. Today, more than 20,000 commercial and naval vessels use Rolls-Royce equipment, and the company’s engines power 400 ships in 30 navies. In the marine market, Rolls-Royce provides high capital-value products, services and systems and develops long-term relationships with customers.

The acquisition of Vickers in 1999 added a range of complementary products and services and expanded the Rolls-Royce route to market. The products acquired as a result of the Vickers take-over are market-leading brands in the commercial and naval marine business and include Ulstein, Bird-Johnson, Aquamaster, Kamewa and Brown Brothers. The effect of adding Vickers Ulstein Marine Systems to the existing capabilities of Rolls-Royce was to:

  • make Rolls-Royce a world leader in marine systems
  • broaden routes to market
  • create new business opportunities
  • broaden the product range and allow integrated systems to be developed/offered
  • build a strong global support network.

The force in marine solutions

‘The force in marine solutions’ is the slogan that Rolls-Royce has been using to launch the new and enlarged business. The slogan features in all of the company’s advertising and customer communications. Its primary purpose is to gain competitive advantage and
distance Rolls-Royce from competitors. Today, Rolls-Royce provides the widest range of marine products because a range of key brands are now part of the Rolls-Royce portfolio. This portfolio includes:
Rolls Royce 7 Diagram 1
Rolls-Royce’s strength in marine comes from its leading position in a range of current markets. Rolls-Royce prides itself on being much more than a company that provides products. Rather, the goal is to become the partner of choice for marine solutions internationally. With such a broad product portfolio made up of leading brands, Rolls-Royce is singularly well placed to provide integrated lifetime solutions for customers that include shipbuilders, ship operators and prime contractors in all marine markets. These solutions require an involvement from Rolls-Royce at every stage in the development of marine vessels.

Rolls-Royce | Expanding a business through skilful acquisition