Post-Merger Procedures-Bringing the Parties Together

Many mergers and acquisitions do not work out as planned and the problem usually lies in a lack of focus on how the two parties should actually be brought together once the deal is completed.  The issue is particularly important in situations where it should be obvious from the beginning that the transaction will require integration of two very different corporate cultures.  The first problem to consider is where to locate the headquarters of the combined company.  Rather than select the headquarters location of one of the parties it may be useful to proceed without any formal headquarters and ask senior executives to rotate among various key office locations around the world.  A second issue is integrating similar departments from both companies.  One solution might be to create talent centers at strategic locations around the world that will serve as the focal point for essential functional activities such as research and development, manufacturing and marketing.  Employees from both companies would have the option to transfer to these centers as a condition to advancing to leadership positions and this would facilitate integration in a totally new environment for veterans of both parties.  In order to ensure that valuable employees who elect not to transfer do not become isolated the company should adopt and enforce a rule that all business-related communications within the company are to be in one language (e.g., English).  A third step that needs to be considered in making sure that key customers of both parties are reassured about the ongoing commitment to service from the merged entity.  Finally, while many merger deals allow the acquiring party to continue to use the trade names and logos of the acquired party for a certain period of time consideration should be given to moving quickly to re-brand the acquired party’s products to reflect the new owner.  This can accelerate the process of getting employees of the acquired party to identify themselves with the merged company.

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