Defending Against a Hostile Takeover

Creating a community-focused narrative and engagement strategy that helped protect a large global manufacturer from a peer’s contentious takeover attempt



A large global manufacturer with significant U.S. operations faced an unwanted takeover attempt from a U.S.-based competitor. If the bid was successful, local communities would stand to lose thousands of high-paying, highly-skilled jobs. This bidder was known to use a “slash-and-burn” approach to managing their costs following acquisitions, including closures and layoffs. We were brought in to provide support and help pushed back against the hostile bid.


  • Developed a narrative that emphasized the acquirer’s negative reputation, historically poor behavior, and lack of long-term commitment to communities

  • Helped lead a fast-paced, multi-faceted strategic communications effort that involved activating local community and front-line employees where our client had operations to drive the narrative

  • Provided timely community and political intelligence that informed our client’s strategy and decision-making, allowing them to make tactical and messaging adjustments in real time


Our work to communicate local employee and community opposition to the takeover led to wider political and editorial opposition, which ultimately helped end the transaction. Our client achieved their desired business result and their communities retained the jobs they stood to lose.


The client

  • Large global manufacturer with significant U.S. operations 

Their communities

  • Employees

  • Local residents