Putzmeister is a German company and specializes in the manufacturing of concrete pumps with a history of 58 years. Its colossal truck-mounted pumps are used to build the world’s tallest buildings. In 2012, it was purchased by SANY for 360 million euros ($402 million). Five years later, the acquisition proves a success for both companies.
In the beginning, workers protested outside the factory, fearing their job losses and politicians were also nervous that Chinese owners may take their technology and move the jobs abroad.
In order to free their worries, SANY and Putzmeister have made clear strategy, which is the strict preservation of brand and corporate identities at both firms. After the takeover, SANY divided up the market, selling its own concrete pumps in China and the Putzmeister’s concrete pumps in the rest of the world. Putzmeister pumps still come with German-engineered parts sourced from its previous suppliers. The German firm acts as the global distribution hub for the combined company.
Finally, both firms achieve the win-win results. Through joint projects and engineers exchange, SANY gains a technological edge over rivals by improving quality at its own production sites. What’s more, Putzmeister also helps SANY purchase some components from European suppliers, such as the hydraulic components from German supplier Bosch Rexroth. On the other hand, Putzmeister still maintains its reputation as a premium brand: the brand is intact and established relationships with suppliers have been left in place. The company’s employment in Germany keeps stable and sales are up by nearly a third.
With employment at the company’s factories in Germany holding steady, the workers who picketed against the merger four years ago now say they are more fortunate than they might have been had a buyer arrived from elsewhere.
However, culture collision still remains and both companies acknowledge that more times is needed for the integration to succeed on all levels.