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This article contributes to the existing knowledge on the difficulties and critical aspects of the post-acquisition phase of an emerging market multinational. To establish the context, a literature review on multinational companies from emerging countries, and specifically on the internationalization initiatives of Chinese companies, is provided, along with a framework to analyze cultural and management-related differences related to mergers and acquisitions (M&As). This review and framework is followed by a case study of a Chinese motorbike M&A in Italy. The case illustrates how Chinese companies use Italy to access Western markets (and strategic logistical services), as well as a wide range of distinct skills/intangible assets, such as brands, know-how and technology, particularly in the manufacturing industries. The findings suggest that while superficial product-portfolio and cost benefits can accrue due to the acquisition, cultural and administrative differences and lack of synergies between the two companies prevented the acquirer from fully integrating the intangible assets, particularly human resource talent, of the acquired firm.


Pre-print version. Published in International Journal of Technological Learning, Innovation and Development 6, nos. 1-2 (2013): 190-208.

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International Journal of Technological Learning, Innovation and Development