April 28, 2008

Mergers and Munchies

I read this morning that the people who make M&M's (Mars Inc.) along with uber billionaire Warren Buffett are trying to buy Wrigley's for an estimated $23Billion U.S. Among his many companies, Buffett owns Kraft Foods Inc.

If the deal goes through, Cheez Whiz, Mars Bars, and Doublemint will be owned by the same company.

The reports were flooding in over the weekend about the souring Continental/United deal. This stuff happens every single day, some make better headlines.

Big fish are swallowing big fish.

This year alone we’ve seen Delta Airlines scoop up Northwest Airlines, Alcon bought by Novartis, Volkswagen gained control of Scania, and the list goes on. There are billions and billions of dollars changing hands – literally.

That’s business and that’s life.

But I often wonder about the real life aspect of all this. The whole reason a company is worth anything is because of the assets and the most important assets are its people. No, I’m not writing the marketing campaign for one of these companies – it’s the truth.

Whenever an acquisition/merger/takeover happens, thousands of lives are affected. Downsizing happens, melding of cultures is attempted, accounting practices change, reporting lines are re-established, synergies found, logos on paychecks change, people are fired.

Job security and company loyalty are rarely uttered these days and for good reason. If you work long enough, you will eventually be faced with one burning question – who’s buying us today?


© Kneale Mann knealemann@gmail.com people + priority = profit
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