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German companies in the USA are always looking for innovative and successful growth strategies to successfully develop the US market. Growth targets can be achieved quickly by acquiring companies or entering into joint ventures. In addition, there is the possibility of achieving growth on your own, for example by developing new products or opening up additional sales channels and setting up your own production.


With regard to the establishment or expansion of production or the topic of mergers & acquisitions, 50% of the companies surveyed in the German American Business Outlook 2019 study stated that they wanted to expand their capacities in 2019. One in five firms plans to expand their business through M&A in 2019, up from 8% in 2017 and 11% of planned M&A activity in 2018.


The "Production Setup and Expansion" workshop is aimed at companies that want to further expand their economic involvement in the USA and is intended to help companies to prepare and prepare comprehensively for the various steps that e.g deals in particular with practical questions and their answers.

Our speakers

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Philipp Michael Kusche
Manager Strategic Marketing and Sales, Körber Logistics

Philipp-Michael Kusche accompanies and supports the planning and implementation of Körber Logistics' strategic initiatives and works in the areas of business development and M&A. Since 2019 he has been part of the Systems business unit, the leading provider of fully integrated applications for the optimization of complex internal and external logistics processes, based in Bad Nauheim, Germany. Mr. Kusche started his career at an international strategy consultancy in Frankfurt and has held leading positions in various young Swiss companies in the financial and medical technology sectors. Mr. Kusche obtained his diploma in economic physics at the University of Ulm.

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Manuel Merkt
President & COO, Hermle USA Inc.

Manuel Merkt began his professional career with a 3.5-year dual apprenticeship at Maschinenfabrik Berthold Hermle AG. He then obtained his Bachelor of Engineering from the University of Applied Sciences in Konstanz and a Bachelor of European Engineering Studies from Coventry University in Great Britain.
At the end of 2010, Manuel assumed the role of executive assistant at Hermle's North American headquarters. In 2014, Manuel was promoted to Operations Manager and in 2016 he assumed the position of Executive VP Operations at Hermle USA. Just two years later, Manuel was promoted to President & COO and now leads the Executive Management Team


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

After studying mechanical engineering at the TU Braunschweig, I started my career in 1999 in the automotive industry.

With three years of experience in method planning and forming simulation for body parts, I switched to the perforated sheet metal manufacturer Graepel. In the first six years in the Graepel Group, I worked as a project manager for the agricultural machinery industry and, in this function, regularly visited customers in the Midwest of the USA. From 2008 to 2013, as Head of Design and Project Management, I was intensively involved in the development and expansion of Graepel North America from the Lower Saxony location. At the beginning of 2014 I took over the management of the largest location of the Graepel Group in Löningen.


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Gerrit Ahlers
Director, Consulting & Corporate Development Services, AHK USA-Chicago

Mr. Ahlers is in charge of market entry and business development services in the consulting department. Here he works together with his team on topics such as market entry strategies, business development, business representative offices, market research, searches for sales partners, site selection, mergers and acquisitions as well as cultural differences.

Before joining AHK USA-Chicago, Mr. Ahlers held a leading role in a medium-sized management consultancy, where he was responsible for setting up and expanding the US branch. In his previous positions, Mr. Ahlers was already active in Europe, Australia and North America.

Mr. Ahlers has an MBA degree with a focus on brand management, sustainable and strategic management from the University of Bremen.

This workshop is sponsored by:

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