Pim den Hartog
Technical University, Delft
Erasmus University, Rotterdam
Since 1979, in Zürich
What is the core issue?
What is important for the future?
How do I explain that in two words?
W.J. „Pim“ den Hartog © 2013. All Rights Reserved. Mühlebachstrasse 152 CH-8008 Zürich +41 79 400 60 71
Buy a competitor?
In the offshore oil industry, only three engineering companies were able to supply a particular type of hi-tech heavy equipment. Wouldn’t it be more “quiet” in the market if there were even fewer competitors? For nr 2, Pim looked at the options, approached the owner of nr 3 without raising the attention of nr 1. The take-over was successful and the new combination became the new nr 1 and dominant leader on the world market.
In one country, two competitors both have subsidiaries that don’t do well. Pim is engaged (by both owners) as a neutral party to find out whether a common JV in that country would be commercially and financially viable. He also serves as an “information safe”: to make sure that neither competitor will receive sensitive information about the other.
JV with a competitor?
Should a government run social health insurance itself, or are commercial insurance companies better at it? Pim did a research project to find out what in the end would be cheapest for the tax payer: where does a certain amount buy the most “health”? No big mountains of data but clever samples. Against Pim’s own expectation, civil servants turned out to be more effective than commercial insurers.
Make or buy?
Out of stock
A supplier in the chip industry notices that his stock of parts and sub-assemblies has unexpected shortfalls. Pim helps designing a better system and changes the organization.
A national mint wonders what would happen if they no longer mint the national coins. Pim helped determining the strategic options, using available technical know-how and the solid public image in other markets: for example to distinguish brand products and key airplane parts from cheap Far East falsifications.
What is going on?
A drilling and mining subsidiary in Belgium is not doing well: big losses on projects, deadlines missed. The holding company hires Pim to find out what can be done about it. He replaces the “colonial style” management, installs up-to-date systems and has tons of outdated equipment scrapped. One year later, the company is sold at a good price.
Use your Board of Directors
A company has two 50% shareholders (one being a competitor) and to handle these owners correctly and fairly has become a “piece of art”. Pim assisted the CEO in this area for over 20 years: to have investments approved smoothly by the Board, but at the same time protecting the company’s commercial independence, for example by awarding a big maintenance contract to a competitor of one shareholder.
A company has 5 production plants in Germany, all under-utilized. Pim helps figuring out which one must be shut down and what are social, commercial and political implications. It turned out, unexpectedly, that a brand new plant in the former DDR has to be closed because of its low productivity.
Which plants to close?
We’re too big!
Three divisions of a big quoted company are so diverse that they suffer financially. Pim analyzed the options and it turned out that splitting up the company would be the best solution The biggest 2 divisions were sold, and only the third was kept with only 1%(!) of personnel. Out of the proceeds of the sale, a big one-time dividend was paid-out to shareholders. The project was complicated by the secrecy required by stock market regulations regarding price-sensitive information.
For a giant piece of offshore equipment, a business plan was needed: to explain to all parties concerned, including bankers, what the implications of this investment would be.
Pim assisted in mapping out the market, explaining the technical concept, quantifying the risks and showing the financial feasibility of the investment.
Build an offshore giant?
The CEO of a quoted company finds out that a hostile offer is pending for his shares. Pim coordinated the defense. Shareholders, personnel and other stake holders had to be convinced that the intended take-over would be a bad idea for all concerned. And clever measures had to be taken that would make anti-trust authorities withhold approval of a take-over.
A private hospital was destroyed in an earthquake. Would it make sense to build a new hospital on the same spot? Pim researched the “market” to find out if patients and doctors would return, what the likelihood was of a new earthquake and whether enough profit would be made to support a new issue in the bond market.
Does this investment pay?