Black Box

HR project management expertise for a growing business

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Black Box is a global provider of communications products

Black Box

The brief

Black Box wanted to become the world's largest technical services company. They chose to achieve this through an aggressive acquisitions strategy of data services businesses who provided structured cabling solutions.  

Why Connor?

Black Box wasn't as established in the UK as it was in the US. As such, they chose Connor to carry out due diligence of target companies. This included checking they were operating within the law from a people perspective, assessing the calibre of their people, the strength of the management team, their customer engagement readiness.

All core working practices were explored to ensure that Black Box was acquiring a business of value. We provided this project expertise on seven acquisition targets in Bromley, Cambridge, Southampton, Belfast, Hull, Barrow-in-Furness and Northampton.

The approach

We established three steps to delivering a successful acquisition from a people perspective:

  • People due diligence before the acquisition
  • Joint integration planning and
  • Post-acquisition integration that motivates management and staff from both sides of an acquisition to work together towards new common targets.

We worked with Black Box to:

  • Check target acquisitions work within statutory HR requirements
  • Uncover hidden risks that may impact the success of the new enterprise
  • Recommend practical actions to mitigate the risks and resolve the issues
  • Accelerate the success of the new enterprise.

What we did for Black Box

  • Check target acquisitions work within statutory HR requirements
  • Uncover hidden risks that may impact the success of the new enterprise
  • Recommend practical actions to mitigate the risks and resolve the issues
  • Accelerate the success of the new enterprise.

Our style was sensitive but penetrative. We were aware of the nervousness of some employees at target companies but equally we needed to get under the skin of the company to ensure that the target businesses were of value to Black Box. We adopted a style of "can you help me to understand?" and "can you show me the evidence?" to get the answers and clarity we needed.

Business outcomes

  • One target company was identified as a 'red light' that had previously been sanctioned for acquisition. This saved Black Box a minimum of £1 million

  • We worked successfully with Black Box to restructure a number of newly acquired businesses to improve effectiveness and increase profitability.

What the client said

"Connor has worked with us for many years as an integral part of our mergers and acquisitions team, helping us identify high quality acquisitions, and saving us money with their post-integration support interventions."
Group managing director UK & Ireland Black Box Network Services
Paul Connor

Contact Paul Connor

Founder and business development director

"Our clients trust us and say that we are straightforward to deal with. We listen to what they want, deliver what we promise and have some fun along the way."

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