Frankenstein or Cinderella, Considering Legal Strategies While Building and Adhering Commercial Relations

Diana Maher, Senior Legal Counsel, Kone Corporation, Finland

Joining forces in different ways may bring accelerating benefits for entities operating in different markets. Common forms of cooperation among others contain joint venture, distributorship and research and development arrangements. In all of them, the key for the success is to align the parties’ expectations from the very beginning. In co-research and development arrangements it is rather common that the parties have had well time to establish the terms and expectations of the planned cooperation. Joint ventures on the other hand can be more complex set ups and include forms of joint ownerships on the full range of business instead of just developing part of it. Joint ventures may end up being like acquisitions and in some situations rushed whereby parties get together after only superficial knowledge of each other’s’ concepts and methods. Distributorship arrangement are on the other hand a less complicated form of cooperation. Since it does not include joint shareholding structure, the exit situation in case of unwanted outcome can be relatively easy. However, in each of the above cases, the parties need to review and understand comprehensively what their future partners’ expectancies are in respect of the planned cooperation. Once the expectations are properly established and communicated, the actual steps required for the cooperation will be easier to plan and implement – and contract.

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Finland Management Industry November 2013 Vol. 7, No. 25, Autumn 2013

Diana Maher

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Diana Maher is currently working as a Senior Legal Counsel for KONE Corporation. Previously she acted as Executive Vice President and General Counsel at the international bathroom products group Sanitec and was in charge of all legal affairs in Sanitec group. She also worked for the European Commission, Tellabs and KPMG in different legal positions. She has been engaged in several M&A transactions, financing arrangements, restructuring processes, IPR and compliance related matters.

Kone Corporation

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KONE is one of the global leaders in the elevator and escalator industry. The company has been committed to understanding the needs of its customers for the past century, providing industry-leading elevators, escalators and automatic building doors as well as innovative solutions for modernization and maintenance. The company’s objective is to offer the best People Flow® experience by developing and delivering solutions that enable people to move smoothly, safely, comfortably and without waiting in buildings in an increasingly urbanizing environment. In 2012, KONE had annual net sales of EUR 6.3 billion and around 40,000 employees. KONE class B shares are listed on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki Ltd in Finland. www.kone.com

Finland Management Industry November 2013 Vol. 7, No. 25, Autumn 2013