The global business landscape in almost all industries has undergone major transformations. Both private and public companies / organizations, have responded with larger or smaller scale mergers and acquisitions or privatizations as a result of various imperatives (e.g. deregulation, cost optimization, etc). Mergers and acquisitions, privatizations and corporate restructuring are a major part of the corporate finance world.

One of the most important, and most difficult tasks is to establish, up-front, the organizational goals of the M&A / privatization investment. Organizations of all sizes in all business sectors are increasingly looking to mergers and acquisitions (M&A) to support their global growth strategies, while State Authorities implement ad hoc or large scale privatization programmes and HR professionals must be ready to manage the people opportunities and risks inherent in these transactions.

However, it is common that parties involved still emphasize to the evaluation and integration of ‘traditional’ financial and accounting dimensions, giving little emphasis on intangible assets which may not be visible on balance sheets. These intangible assets however, can ultimately make or break the success of a merger or an acquisition.

PLAS in collaboration with PLANET can help and support its clients, towards the successful completion of post-merger integration, in the following distinct areas:

HR environment/climate and corporate culture assessment

Dealing with cultural issues is one of the biggest challenges to successful post-merger integration. This is a complex issue and during M&A or privatization implementation, three aspects of culture – national, organizational and management culture – must be considered.

PLAS can help design and implement customized employee surveys, enabling the company to acquire a clear view on employees and/or managers change readiness and accurately identify the characteristics of existing corporate climate and assess corporate culture compatibility.

HR Policies, procedures and systems alignment

During a merger, almost all departments within the involved organizations will undergo important transformations, as a result of a company-wide reorganization aiming at resources optimization and economies of scale. In many cases, the merged organization will have to cease the operation of duplicated departments, and blend involved resources, processes and procedures.

PLAS can help its clients in the mapping of involved companies’ HR Policies, procedures and systems, in the identification of gaps and/or overlaps and in the development and introduction of common HR policies and procedures. Additionally, we can support the HR Department, to successfully plan and implement all the required modifications in the organization structure.

Voluntary Retirement Schemes (VRS)

Under the existing global circumstances, right sizing of the manpower employed in an organization has become an important management strategy in order to meet the increased competition. The voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) is a technique to provide overall reduction in the existing headcount of a company. This technique is commonly used by companies to dispense off the excess manpower and thus improve the performance of the organization. It is an appropriately sized, severance payment to persuade the employees to voluntarily retire from the company.

A firm may be interested in a voluntary retirement scheme under the following circumstances:

  • Due to intense competition, the establishment becomes unviable unless downsizing is resorted to.
  • Due to recession in the business.
  • Due to joint-ventures with foreign collaborations.
  • Due to takeover, merger, or privatization.
  • Due to obsolescences of Products offered /Technologies deployed.

Based on our experience as well as on best practices we can support our clients towards the development and execution of suitable, cost effective Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS), customized and tailored to the fulfilment of company specific needs.

Specifically, we can help organizations with the identification of VRS candidate groups, with the design of the scheme, with the assessment of the relative financial cost and benefit, the definition of the incentives framework as well as with other, arising VRS deployment issues. Additionally, we can support the development of relative communication plan, providing employees with information on the benefits and consequences of the plan.