Corporate communication can save good employees and customers during the acquisition process if used wisely. The loss of key people and customers is extremely costly. The investments in team and resources to preempt these losses are quite modest in comparison.
Because it is a difficult topic with no single right answer, management often fears saying anything that might disturb the troops. When nothing is said & rumors become the key to information, employees ride the emotional roller coaster that drives those who can move on to consider other possibilities.
The key man of a manufacturing plant decided that he should have been in the loop & when he found out days before the closing, he moved to another plant not far away that had been chasing him for years. Without the key man, the 80 old owner lost the sale of & eventually his business.
Financial diligence is more straight-forward and often gets the most attention, leaving non- financial audits & corporate communication under-valued and often attended to as an after-thought.
Attention to this detail should be a primary concern for any acquiring entity, and finding the talent and resources to make sure it is addressed in a professional and balanced fashion can be one of the most important pieces of due diligence both pre and post-merger.
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