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 Workshop Production Expansion 


German companies in the USA are always looking for innovative and successful growth strategies to infiltrate the US market. By acquiring businesses or entering into joint ventures, companies can reach their growth targets relatively quickly. Alternatively, companies can also facilitate growth internally by developing new products, opening up additional sales channels and facilitating their own production.


The 2019 German American Business Outlook showed 50% of companies surveyed were interested in expanding their capacities through either production expansion or mergers & acquisitions. According to this study, one in five companies plan to expand their business through M&A, an increase from 8% in 2017 and 11% in 2018.


The workshop "Production Establishment and Expansion" is aimed at companies wishing to further expand their economic involvement in the USA. This workshop is intended to help businesses prepare themselves for the various steps involved in a company acquisition or production expansion. The workshop will focus on addressing and answering practical questions through a panel discussion of expert speakers and a Q&A.

Our Speakers

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Philipp-Michael Kusche

Manager Strategic Marketing and Sales, Körber Logistics

Philipp-Michael Kusche supports and facilitates the planning, steering and execution of Körber Logistics’ strategic initiatives and is engaged in business development and M&A activities. He joined the Business Area Logistics Systems, the leading provider of fully integrated applications for the optimization of complex internal and external logistics processes, in 2019 and is based in Bad Nauheim, Germany. Philipp started his career at an international management consulting firm for which he advised clients in Germany, Austria and the UK. He was engaged in leading roles at different start-up companies from the financial and MedTech industry in Switzerland. Philipp holds the equivalent of a master in econophysics from Ulm University.

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Manuel Merkt
President & COO, Hermle USA Inc.

Manuel Merkt began his industrial engineering background through a 3.5-year dual apprenticeship program with Hermle AG in Germany. Afterwords, he received a Bachelor of Engineering degree from the University of Applied Science Constance, Germany as well as a Bachelor of European Engineering Studies from Coventry University in the UK.
In 2010, Manuel relocated to the US and served as Executive Assistant at Hermle’s North American HQ. In 2014, Manuel was promoted to the Operations Manager and in 2016 he was promoted to Executive VP Operations at Hermle USA. Just two years later Manuel was promoted to President & COO and is now heading of the Executive Management Team of Hermle USA, Inc.


Klaus Schute
General Manager, Graepel Löningen GmbH & Co. KG

I started my professional career path in the automotive industry in 1999 after graduate in mechanical engineering. With three years expert knowledge in tool design and forming simulation for car body components, I changed to the perforating company Graepel. The first six years in the Graepel Group I worked as a Project Manager and travelled a lot in the US to support our customers in developing their products. With being head of engineering and project management from 2008 to 2013 at our HQ in Germany, I dedicated myself a lot to support the facility setup and growing business of Graepel North America. Beginning of 2014 I became General Manager in Germany and took over the responsibility for one company within the Graepel Group.


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Gerrit Ahlers
Director, Consulting & Corporate Development Services, GACC Midwest

Gerrit leads GACC Midwest’s Consulting & Corporate Development Services team for entry, strategy, growth, and business transformation for companies, particularly European mid-caps, for the US market.

His work ranges from corporate market entry strategy, virtual offices, M&A, market research, and site selection to growth strategy, business partner search, and cultural differences. Prior to joining the GACC Midwest, Gerrit held a leading role in establishing the US presence for a mid-sized German consulting agency, where he was responsible for the US operations and serving clients across a diverse set of sectors. In addition, Gerrit holds international experience across Europe, Australia and North America. He holds the equivalent of an MBA with a specialization in Brand Management, Sustainability, and Strategic Management from the University of Bremen.

This workshop is sponsored by:

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