Book Review: ‘Surviving Mergers’ from The Times, 2 September 2009

Posted on 3 September 2009. Filed under: About the book / weblog, Articles on surviving an acquisition |

There was an excellent summary and review by Emily Ford of the Surviving Mergers:  Make the most of your company being acquired book in the 2 September 2009 issue of The Times and also available on-line here.  She entitled her review ‘In a merger, survival can depend on you’, which is certainly true, yet often not understood by most employees.  Clearly, as the M&A markets are showing strong signs of revival, this is even more important even than when the book was published less than two months ago.

Emily wrote in the article that ‘The spectre of a merger is enough to send a chill down the spines of most employees — with good reason. Mergers always carry a risk of redundancies: on average, 10 to 15 per cent of employees across both organisations lose their jobs in a merger, sometimes as many as a third. Even those who keep their jobs are likely to be fearful of the change to the status quo.’

She goes on to write:

‘In a book just published, Surviving M&A: Make the Most of Your Company Being Acquired by Scott Moeller, director of the M&A Research Centre at Cass Business School in London, explains how to improve your chances of keeping your job, based on 350 interviews with employees who have been through M&A deals. “The first question you need to ask yourself is: ‘Do you want to stay?’ ” Professor Moeller said. “A merger might be the best time to leave.”’

The article includes 10 of the key pieces of advice to reduce your ‘risk of being made redundant in a merger’ if you do decide that you want to fight for your job.  It also notes that ‘Workers in Britain, America and the Netherlands are more at risk of being made redundant than those in Germany, France and Japan, thanks to employment legislation differences.’    But, as she adds at the end,

‘Despite your best intentions, things might not work out. If you plan to stay at your company, go to a few interviews anyway to test the market and work out your value. “Mergers are unpredictable. Remaining flexible will give you more options,” Professor Moeller said.’


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