What to expect in a company acquisition?
April 22, 2010 1:43 PM Subscribe
My small company is probably going to be sold to a much larger competitor later this year. Since the two companies are in different market tiers, and we're already well-established in ours, they will almost certainly keep our company intact and we will become a subsidiary of them. As an employee, what should I expect? Has anyone been through something like this?
posted by relucent to Work & Money (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I work at a company of around 50 employees. We are owned by a private board of investors. It's no secret that we haven't been doing too well financially in the past couple of years, and the board is eager to get out from under their investments.
Despite all this, our main product is cutting-edge in the field. Our financial troubles are caused primarily by some very bad management decisions in the past couple of years—but we do have a very solid product. A much larger company in our same field (but a different market tier) is very eager to buy us, and I anticipate that they will pull the trigger within the year.
We are well-established in our market and I don't think the acquiring company would dissolve our brand. I expect that they would keep us as our own company and would just make us a subsidiary, using us to break into this new tier, as well as licensing our products for use in their tier.
That said, I'm wondering about what I should expect if and when this all goes down. Particularly in 2 areas:
1. Due to turnover, I know more about this product than anyone else in the company, despite being pretty low on the totem pole. I am not exaggerating when I say that if I (or any one of maybe three or four other key people) were to quit, it would mean very bad news for the acquiring company—it's a complex product that behaves very differently in the real world than it looks on paper. Do acquiring companies generally have a good understanding of the value of the knowledge base? Do you think they will go to great lengths to ensure that this knowledge base remains intact? (As is the case with many small business employees, I am horribly underpaid yet very loyal. But my loyalty doesn't automatically extend to the new stepdad.)
2. It's obvious to anyone doing their research that our management has made some pretty bad decisions that led us to where we are now. When a failing company is acquired, what typically happens to the management? Would they be repositioned, or just removed outright?
Beyond these, I'm also interested in any other experiences/anecdotes from people who have been in similar situations.