Larry Polhill talks about the biggest myths surrounding mergers

Whenever a merger takes place, it would be fair to say that there are a lot of question marks hanging over businesses. Employees start to get worried, while the news stations constantly speculate about what might be the newly formed company’s first move.

In amongst all of this are a whole load of myths dominating the field. This is something that Larry Polhill has come to understand through his distinguished career, and today we have tapped into his experience to find out just some of the biggest misconceptions which tend to blight mergers.

Myth #1 – It’s too early to think about integration

This is one of the first things that is said, at least publically, when a lot of mergers take place. Truth be told, integration is always going to occur, so the question should be asked about why the inevitable should be delayed?

One of the main reasons why a merger occurs is because efficiencies are required. For as long as the integration doesn’t occur, these efficiencies are going to be delayed. Bearing this in mind, it is never too early to integrate two businesses. In an ideal world, it should occur before the ink has dried on the final contract.

Myth #2 – Once the transaction is complete, the deal is complete

This is all about the technicalities behind the meaning of “the deal”. In terms of legally merging the two companies together, it’s plain to see that this is the case. Quite often, a merger entails much more than this though.

Many people believe that when the contract is signed, it is actually just the beginning. This links in perfectly with the point that we have just discussed; how integration has to occur immediately.

Myth #3 – Employees don’t need to be told until the conclusion of the deal

Even though a lot of companies try their upmost to keep things hidden during these times, it’s safe to say that mergers tend to be the worst kept secret of all of the organization’s involved. Put simply, there are so many stakeholders that things get leaked, intentionally or unintentionally, and before you know it the press might have been alerted (for companies of substantial size anyway).

It’s for this reason that employees should be told at a relatively early opportunity. Of course, it’s not advisable to do this at the first sign of a merger, but out of respect to them it should be done relatively quickly.

If this doesn’t occur, a whole host of problems can occur. Employees can become disgruntled about not knowing what is happening within the organization they work for, while some might also start to look for a new job as they aren’t sure of the security of their own amid the merger talks. It is far more efficient for both companies involved to be transparent with employees and make them aware as soon as something relevant to them is starting to occur.

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