Mergers & Acquisitions Supplement 2011

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Due diligence is vital

Pay restructuring may be needed

The DC pension choices

DB pension liabilities

Total reward aids integration

Sponsor’s comment: Reward teams help seal the deal

Editor’s Comment

A merger or acquisition poses many challenges for employers. Alongside the logistical issues thrown up by the gargantuan task of bringing two businesses together is the need to do so while ensuring that employees remain motivated and engaged with the new organisation and the business direction it may take.

Reward and HR professionals therefore have a significant role to play in the merger and acquisition process. Even in the initial negotiation stages, reward issues such as defined benefit pension liabilities have the potential to scupper a deal, so it is vital that the relevant professionals are involved as early as possible. In some cases, it may even be prudent to examine reward issues before a potential deal is even on the table.

Once a deal has been agreed, reward professionals face a mammoth task in identifying how best to merge the two workforces. A key part of this will be decisions around harmonising employees’ reward and benefits packages, looking at factors such as overall reward strategy, pay and salary levels, holiday entitlement, levels of benefits coverage and, of course, pensions. Getting this process right can be crucial to engaging employees with the new organisation, as well as a useful tool in communicating its combined objectives and business strategy.

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This supplement aims to guide organisations that may be considering, or are going through, a merger or acquisition as they tackle this vital process.

Debbie Lovewell, deputy editor