In any merger or acquisition of shares, one of the crucial elements to consider at an early stage is how the stakeholders will conduct their business after the transaction completes. There can be a lot of focus on getting the deal done, but it is important to also prepare for smooth running post-completion.

In some transactions, the seller will be out of the picture after completion, and the employees and suppliers might be the remaining stakeholders. In this situation it is important that on top of the legal formalities, that introductions are made and sufficient information obtained in order for the buyer to step into the working relationships. Changes leave people feeling insecure about their own future. It is important to listen to concerns and to provide assurances where possible. Transparency and good communication is vital for he seller to navigate the relationships successfully.

In other transactions, the seller will remain in the business as an employee, a consultant or even as a shareholder. In this situation it is important to establish from the outset that the buyer and seller share values and vision for the company. Communication is key. Both should be open about their views and intentions, so as to avoid clashes later on.

Shareholder agreements and other governing documents should set clear guidance on how decisions will be made, about values and culture, and about the roles and responsibilities of each stakeholder. An integration plan should set the expectations of all parties and create a timeline for actions. There are ups and downs in business so the plan needs to have flexibility. Importantly, all stakeholders should be considered when making an integration plan and there should be openness about the actions.

The above is provided for information purposes and is not intended as legal advice. If you have questions about any aspect of commercial transactions we, at Fitzsimons Redmond LLP, would be happy to advise you. Please contact us on 01-676 3257.

By Lisa Quinn O’Flaherty

Partner at Fitzsimons Redmond LLP