Strategically repositioning a business
A Glynwed case study

Page 1: Introduction

When faced with the need for change, it is easy to consider the organisation’s current activities and then look for strategies that are familiar and cause the least upheaval. This may mean looking for new markets, or improving controls within the business. However, at key stages within the lifetime of every organisation, senior business managers have to make more radical decisions. These...
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Page 2: Growing the business

Formed in 1939, Glynwed was originally a metal manufacturing business. During the 1960s it took over Allied Ironfounders and doubled in size, acquiring the basis of a consumer and foodservice equipment business. During the 1980s and early 1990s there were a number of acquisitions and the structure of the business encompassed seven very different divisions. During the mid-1990s some parts of this...
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Page 3: Divestment

In 1996 with seven separate divisions, the Glynwed Group of companies was diverse and lacked focus.   A fundamental aspect of any form of strategy is the identification of the scope of the activities and markets served. For example, should an organisation concentrate upon just a few areas of activity or many? It was clear at this time that some of the markets served by Glynwed were...
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Page 4: Acquisition

There are a number of reasons for acquiring other businesses. The foremost is the speed at which it enables an organisation to respond to changes in its business environment and enter other product and market areas. In many instances, particularly where heavy investment is required (e.g. engineering), developing a strategy internally would just not be practical since the process of internal...
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Page 5: International growth

A key acquisition made by Glynwed in 1999 was that of IPEX, a Canadian business that had an outstanding strategic fit with Glynwed. IPEX is a 100% core pipe systems business, which has, given its geographical position, developed a major manufacturing presence in North America. By acquiring IPEX and integrating it into the Glynwed business, the Group was developing a wider geographical spread...
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Page 6: Conclusion

Divestment and acquisition has enabled Glynwed to use its core competences in key areas of growth. The diverse nature of the business and the mature background to some market areas required decisive and effective action. This would build a new type of organisation, supported by an organisation structure that would enable it to succeed. With growth opportunities in both pipe systems and foodservice...
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