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M&A case: Migros sells Saviva AG

M&A case: Migros sells Saviva AG

15.09.2021 "interim management konkret"

Does the business model of Saviva AG, the gastronomy supplier of Migros Genossenschafts-Bund, have any chance of survival? Should it be restructured and/or sold? These were the questions posed by the management, including Mr Beat Arbenz, Head of Corporate Finance.

M&A case: Migros sells Saviva AG

1. What was the initial situation and what were your expectations when you appointed an interim manager? What were your goals?

At the beginning of 2020, Saviva as a catering supplier faced a very uncertain future due to the corona-related loss of sales and an ambitious expansion strategy. Fundamental questions arose as to whether the business model in this form had any chance of survival and whether the company could be restructured and / or sold.

The interim manager first had to work out a transparent and relentless picture of the company's state. At the same time, he had to stabilize the organization and at least limit the cash outflow. There was an immediate need for action to implement a large number of smaller improvements. At the same time, the medium-term perspectives had to be worked out.


2.  What were the most important results that the interim manager achieved?

The interim manager got used to it in a short time and managed to make the employees understand the critical situation as well as credibly showing them the way forward.  After a few months he was able to show the shareholder the measures and investments with which Saviva was able to operate profitably again. This was also central to the sale, but potential buyers had to be shown solid reasons why the business model can function sustainably. We didn't wait to implement the transformation either and so the buyer was able to acquire a company that had already successfully implemented a package of measures.


3. What tasks did the interim manager have during the M&A process and how did he fulfill them? 

As a very important basis for the sales process, the interim management had to deliver a credible and realistic business plan. Not reaching the monthly budget during the due diligence process was a no go. Otherwise, the business plan would have been in vain and the interested buyers would no longer have had a basis for their decision. The manager also had to show interested parties that the organization was stable and that business processes were working properly. Another challenging task was to get the carve-out process under control. Saviva has cooperated closely with other group companies on numerous topics - not only in IT - and the aim was to show how the catering supplier can be separated from the group without operational problems.


4. Was there a moment in this mandate when things got difficult and you found the performance of the interim manager to be particularly supportive or, in the other case, burdensome?

Thanks to the interim manager, we received a solid basis for decision-making in a very short time. Thanks to a well-organized M&A process, it was even possible to create the option of selling the company. The credibility of the management team was central. With his enormous commitment and high level of motivation, the interim manager successfully fought for the continued existence of Saviva. The interests of the shareholder are essentially the same, but there were diverging points of view on individual issues, which of course had to be discussed. 


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