Saturday, August 16, 2008


I've had the good fortune of being involved in several small acquisitions in my career. My company a relatively small business was buying much smaller mom and pop businesses. These are fun because the acquired business is usually not all that sophisticated so there are lots of surprises and opportunities for improvement. This view is from the perspective of the acquiring company. The view is always different from the perspective of the group being acquired. The first company I was with that did these acquisitions was very good at it. I led the integration team and we had some great people, we did our home work and I think for the most part it was a good experience for both sides. This was the result of diligent work in the planning and implementation phases.

My current company is not so good at all this which led me to craft the following email to a family member today. We are acquiring a company and I will be making a trip to one of the facilities on closing day to begin the integration process. I was relating my trip and its purpose in the email. You will note that my very active cynical and sarcastic nature is clearly at the forefront here. It is also pretty entertaining if I do say so myself. If you're language sensitive you may want to pass this post by and check the next one.

Excerpt from my email:

Me: Today is the start of a great new era for our two companies.

Sub Text: You guys are fucked.

Me: We acquired your company because there are so many wonderful synergies that will make both companies better.

Sub Text: You guys are fucked, get your resume’s ready.

Me: We look forward to learning in great detail all the wonderful things you are doing so we can learn from you and improve both businesses.

Sub Text: You guys are fucked, you will soon be doing everything our way even if your way was better.

Me: We of course are a much larger company so you can look forward to all the benefits of our size.

Sub Text: You guys are fucked, we bought you so you are meaningless.

Me: We will bring knowledge and efficiencies to the business that will allow us to grow and prosper together

Sub Text: You guys are fucked, you will make less money and our private equity partners are now a little closer to becoming much richer than they already are. Doesn’t that make us feel all warm and fuzzy?

Maybe it would be more efficient just to send an email telling them they”re fucked and save the trip. Honestly, we are well intentioned we just don't plan and execute very well because we are going in too many directions at the same time. Welcome to the new economy.

Thanks for reading.

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