MEDIA: CBC News Network Weekend Business Panel (July, 2024)

Pleased to join the CBC News Network Weekend Business Panel, alongside Jeanhy Shim and Marianne Dimain talking Hudson Bay Co’s deal to purchase luxury retailer Neiman Marcus, home sales plummeting, and the abundance of vacant downtown office space.   You can watch our segment here.

This week’s Business Advisor Highlight:

One of the typical statements that is made when a merger or acquisition occurs is the expectation that “synergies” will be realized; these are often touted as being “significant”.  Types of synergies may include decreasing staffing levels, office or warehouse space, and combining technology systems.  It is important to remember that synergies are theoretical until they are achieved, and doing so is typically a difficult and lengthy process.

Those with significant implementation experience know the many pitfalls of achieving synergies, including:

  • System and information requirements that do not combine well, service providers who cannot get the job done, user backlash, and excuses (so many excuses);
  • The challenges of downsizing staff groups, often fraught with meddling from senior managers and executives, in terms of who should depart and who should stay (i.e., “not my people; those people over there should go”, etc.); and
  • Redundant space that is leased or owned, which takes time to divest.

This scenario can go on for years, while costs continue to be incurred, and it is not uncommon for synergies to not be realized at all.  When this happens, “duplication” results, an expensive, if not fatal, outcome.  Time will tell if the intended synergies can be realized in this particular situation.

Thanks for watching!