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#1 blutrane  Icon User is offline

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Company Acquisition

Posted 22 December 2010 - 06:51 AM

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The company I work for was recently acquired by a large successful public corporation and I wanted to know if anyone has had experience with that, positive or negative. Of course, the senior management team touts the acquisition as a positive across the board, but I think some areas of our present company will languish due to lack of interest, which means that several of my friends could be laid off. But, supposedly, no one is getting laid off at least that's the official statement.

Experiences? Thoughts?

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Replies To: Company Acquisition

#2 hookiethe1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Company Acquisition

Posted 22 December 2010 - 07:02 AM

Well, I have some limited experience with this, the company I work for is very good at acquiring and absorbing other companies, and it seems to me that it's marketing and management that get the chop before the engineers who actually know the product. We bought out a pretty big multinational company a couple of years ago and I work with engineers who have been with the bought company for many years to get their products integrated with our own.
Of course I can't say what will happen to you, but these companies have enough stock in their HR strategies to know that a successful company is made up of successful employees, and they're just wasting money by letting them all go right off the bat. And look on the bright side, this could just mean more directions in which to move with your current employer, more resources for your company and a potentially higher ceiling.
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#3 Craig328  Icon User is offline

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Re: Company Acquisition

Posted 22 December 2010 - 07:43 AM

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Yeah...I too have some experience with this phenomenon as I've been through it twice. The short synopsis for me was: it sucks.

Let's clear one thing up from the get go: since the early 1980s, when the value of a large company shifted from whether they did a superior job in their industry to the price of their stock on the stock market, upper management has increasingly viewed their employees in the same category they tend to view office furniture and supplies. Anymore, the workforce is expendable. Believe this: if you work for a company whose stock is publicly traded on an exchange and they thought they could bump the trading price of their stock one penny by laying off 10% of their workforce, they'd do it in a heartbeat.

Because of that and my personal experiences (this is entirely my opinion, BTW), I determined long ago that anyone who believes anything coming from upper management and stakes their and their family's financial solvency on those statements needs corrective interventive processes...like perhaps electroshock therapy or a solid swat to the side of the head. In my most recent case, the division of the company I worked for was sold off to another firm. Now, I was one of two engineers that worked on their flagship CMS product (the company owned and published around 30 or so tech websites) and we were decidedly understaffed to say the least. Anyway, for months leading up to this sale we'd heard rumors but were flat out lied to that there was nothing to them. They did this because they didn't want us looking for alternative employment and because they knew that should they have lost either one of us that the sale might have encountered a few bumps they didn't want. So, the end result was they simply lied their asses off. Anyway, day comes that the sale is announced and they approach us both (we both worked remotely from home) with a promise of a year end bonus should we stay with the new firm. The amount of money in the bonus was rather remarkable considering we'd both been denied raises the year prior. Short story is, I had no reason to believe their bullshit by that point and a rather excellent contract opportunity came along and I took it. My counterpart who was in serious personal financial trouble could not do so and so he stayed and pinned a lot of hopes to that bonus. Over many conversations I warned him that their word was worth shit and that they will fuck him over once the deal is done.

Needless to say, even though he held up his end of the bonus bargain, in the end they did not. His employment was transferred to the new ownership who had simultaneously been promising stability and long term employment pledges should he stay. Naturally, within 6 weeks of the transition, he tells me over IM that he's busy training guys in India, ostensibly to create ties between their existent CMS and the one they just bought. In reality, he was training his outsourced replacements. They laid him off 6 months after the sale and he had his condo foreclosed on.

That's a rather long post to deliver a message of "you work for You Inc." or you should. There are companies still around who do actually value their employees but sadly they're not nearly as numerous as they used to be and amongst medium and big firms, they're in the minority.

Just keep your eyes and ears open is all I can say.
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#4 lordofduct  Icon User is offline

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Re: Company Acquisition

Posted 22 December 2010 - 03:32 PM

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This question is going to get you a mixed bag fair.

Because the business world is a mixed bag fair.

We first of all have no idea who you work for, or who is buying your company out... so we could hardly speculate on that.

And we've all worked at different companies, who act different ways, and purchase each other for different reasons.

You could easily be fucked (such as in the case that craig related), while at the same time both your current company could be sweet and compassionate. The only one who knows either way is you and your mates at your office and your understanding of your employer.



Of course, I too agree with craig328 that companies will lie through the fucking teeth all for the bottom line. The bigger the company, the less they give shit. We're talking about companies who today actually hire other firms to come and fire people for them, so that they don't have to do the firing themselves. Yep, it fucking exists! Professional firers. Imagine firing one of them? (And actually they made a spoof movie making fun of the very existence of this job).

The best and only advise I can give you corrolates with craig328's story.

If this company A being sold promises you that company B will do something for you once you move over to them. DO NOT BELIEVE THEM! Company A has no control over what company B does... This doesn't mean promises are never held up, keep in mind if company B is actually the one giving the promise (preferably in writing damn it), then it's a little more believable because they actually have a say in what they do.
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#5 blutrane  Icon User is offline

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Re: Company Acquisition

Posted 22 December 2010 - 04:21 PM

Yeah I was figuring I would get a 'mixed bag' of responses. The management team is saying that there won't be a house cleaning and that we, a group instead of a company, would be left to our own devices (sort of) unless we really started 'having problems'
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#6 skyhawk133  Icon User is offline

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Re: Company Acquisition

Posted 22 December 2010 - 04:25 PM

Good topic. Don't forget to up vote good replies folks!
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#7 lordofduct  Icon User is offline

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Re: Company Acquisition

Posted 23 December 2010 - 11:14 AM

totally agree with skyhawk

no one else have anything to say on the topic? I'd love to hear some stories!
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#8 hookiethe1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Company Acquisition

Posted 23 December 2010 - 03:28 PM

I think a lot of it depends on the bought company. If the bought company is doing well, making a good product and promising growth, then the buying company will see it as an investment to be nurtured, and will most likely keep the employees who make up the company, or at least the key ones.
If the bought company is a struggling, floundering mess then the buying company might just want it for parts or a product name that they perceive as still holding some value.

If your company was bought because it's doing well, you can probably breathe a little easier. If it was bought because it's about to go belly-up and sold for a bargain, you might wanna check the classifieds.
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#9 AdamSpeight2008  Icon User is offline

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Re: Company Acquisition

Posted 23 December 2010 - 04:09 PM

There is another reason to buy another company (whether is doing well or don't) is to remove a rival from the board. It would also increase your market share by the fact there are few companies.
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#10 no2pencil  Icon User is online

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Re: Company Acquisition

Posted 23 December 2010 - 04:13 PM

In both cases where I worked at a place that was acquired, the experience was horrible.
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