My Worst Nightmare – Sell or Downsize? Fifteen Considerations (Part 1)

Situation: The Company is losing money and has been approached about a merger. The CEO’s ideal outcome would be to get cash on the table, integrate with the merger partner and continue business. The other alternative – downsizing – may hurt company morale. What are the best options available?

Advice from the CEOs:

  • The realities of mergers:
    • 70% of mergers fail, and the merger process often leaves founders with a minority stake in the company.
    • Experience of others with partners has been disappointing – better to control your own destiny.
    • Look at all alternatives before you jump into a merger. You founded the company and have brought it this far. The company will be a different company following a merger, and not the company that you founded or have led to date.
  • Message to your potential merger partner:
    • Be a reluctant bride.
    • “We are making improvements to return to profitability and I’ve joined a board of CEOs who are consulting me through the process.”
    • If the partner sweetens the offer to keep the merger on the table, make sure that you get 51% of the merged company and retain control of your own fate.
  • Reconsider downsizing – Others have found the downsizing experience wrenching, but with far more positive results than they expected.
    • More on this in the next ceo2ceos blog.
  • Summary: look more closely at your situation before your jump into a merger. If you can save expenses, return to profitability and stay independent you will be happier.

Key Words: Merger, Negotiation, Ownership, Downsizing, Mitigation, Layoffs, Profitability 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign in with Twitter