Managing transition through timely and consistent M&A communications
|Posted by Nancy van Heesewijk on June 12, 2017|
Merger and acquisition (M&A) activity creates a challenging period for all parties concerned. In addition to the confidential, multifaceted, behind-the-scenes processes for each organisation, it’s important to communicate with all stakeholders involved using clear, consistent content. A well-considered and well-timed approach can help to moderate the uncertainty that comes with change.
Aligning External & Internal Communications
Our client, TE Connectivity requested EMG’s expertise to deliver full communications support for acquisitions in China and more recently in Germany.
The EMG team was on-board from the outset on both occasions. This enabled us to propose, develop and align internal and external communications materials for the announcement of the signing through to closing and the final merger stage, for TE and the to-be-acquired companies: Delixing Sibas and Intercontec.
Initial preparations involved understanding the background, stakeholder mapping and defining communication objectives. From this, EMG was able to establish a strategy and action plan with a timeline identifying elements for reaching out to each audience. Working closely with TE’s M&A Team and corporate, marketing and communications departments, we developed key messages focused on the rationale, benefits, and tactics.
Right Message, Right Time, Right Place
Speed and attention to detail were of the essence for each stage of the M&A communications rollout that followed. We created the many different materials needed to inform the different audiences of the changes, taking care to keep clarity and consistent content in all languages top-of-mind.
To give some insight into the scope of our support, for internal purposes EMG prepared a Master Q&A, and notified employees through company intranet announcements, town hall presentations, letter and email communications. External communications included relevant website copy, and letters, emails and postcard reminders for customers and suppliers; and all of this translated into five languages.
Managing the News Cycle
The trade and business press were kept up-to-date on progress through specific signing and closing announcement press releases. Plus, we developed pre-sign / pre-close holding statements to support additional enquiries. TE China held a local press briefing for business media and TV at the time of the Delixing Sibas acquisition closing. Today, TE continues to hold one-to-one interviews and plant tours to support the high level of interest from German media in the recent Intercontec acquisition.
For both acquisitions EMG monitored and reported media interest and coverage to provide TE with a 24/7 overview of how the announcement was received by the media.
“It was a real benefit to be able to access EMG’s proficiency in internal and external communications, and its relationships with the industry trades, to ensure consistency in our messages and that they reached our various target audiences on time,” said Jonathan Graham, Senior Manager Global Communications TE Connectivity Industrial. “The structured approach helped us to successfully focus on content without the need to create new processes every time.”
Co-ordinating M&A communications is complex. It is time sensitive, there is the issue of confidentiality and many voices (and languages) to consider, and a vital need for consistency in messaging. We were pleased to support TE Connectivity and help create an effective communications programme for such an important business development.
If you are planning an important business development, contact us to help you turn this complex challenge into a well-considered and well-timed communications approach.