Monday, December 2, 2019

Surprise! The Company has Been Sold

One universal truth I have seen over 25 years as an attorney and M&A consultant is that employees are rarely surprised by the news that the company has been sold. Employees understand that, absent qualified children in the business, as owners reach retirement age, they need to transition the business to new owners. Despite their concern over their own future, employees get it.

Nonetheless, employee communications are one of toughest challenges in navigating through the M&A process. Owners are fearful of leaks in advance of closing, concerned that employees will bolt out the door. While that rarely happens, the concern is legitimate and especially so when it comes to sales representatives who feel their future threatened.

In cases where there is financial distress, the perceived stigma or shame of selling the business under duress affects decisions on the M&A deal. In any event, the process of selling your company does not have to be overly stressful. If you are thinking about a sale, merger, or acquisition, we'll include employee communications in our planning together, including the who, how and when to notify your various stakeholders (these same concerns arise when we consider suppliers and customers).