Monday Merger Mania

The week kicks off with acquisition announcements from IBM, Hertz, M&T Bank, and Ask.com, in order to gain traction in other lines of business or eliminate competition. The largest deal came from M&T, which entered into an agreement to purchase Hudson City Bancorp for $3.7 billion, expanding the bank’s reach to the east coast. Meanwhile, after a lower offer was rejected and a competition with Avis Budget Group, Hertz will purchase Dollar Thrifty for $2.3 billion. To avoid antitrust issues, Hertz will sell its Advantage Rent a Car discount unit to a private equity company. IBM will purchase Wayne, PA-based recruiting and talent management technology firm Kenexa for $1.3 billion, or $46 a share, to enhance IBM’s ability to dip into information generated in the social media sphere, and Ask.com will acquire About.com for $300 million. Companies have been sitting on mounds of cash as the economy slowly recovers. As of last August, non-financial companies on the S&P had accumulated $963 billion, with analysts predicting companies were saving for another economic collapse. However, it seems companies are back on the spending kick, hopefully, to create more jobs. “When companies announce acquisitions, unfortunately, it often comes with job losses. In most of these cases, save for Hertz, there may be few redundancies, but it remains to be seen,” offered John Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. So far this year, US companies have announced 8,113 job cuts due to mergers or acquisitions according to Challenger tracking. What factors may lead to job losses with these firms? How can companies keep their employers engaged and focused during management change? Will more companies ramp up M&A activity?

 

Merger/Acquisition Job Cuts
 

Through July

Year End

2012

8,113

N/A

2011

8,670

14,717

2010

28,404

39,669

2009

32,969

47,102

2008

33,945

125,115

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