Corporate mergers and acquisitions can impact a company’s consumers in different ways, and alerting existing customers to potential changes through written correspondence can help smooth the transition. Your merger announcement letter should solidify your company’s mission, explain anticipated changes and provide the customer with a point person to help navigate new policies and procedures if questions or concerns arise.
Introduce the New Brand
The letter should come from the new top manager of the merged organization or be written as a jointly-issued communication from the CEOs of the merging companies. Make the merger announcement on new company letterhead or on stationary or an email template that contains both existing company logos. This immediately alerts existing customers to the nature of the transition taking place. If the company’s letterhead contains the names of advisory members, key staffers or a board of directors, include a post-merge version of these officers in the letter to present a united and organized overview of the newly-merged company. Then, open your letter with a clear statement of the merger.
"I am pleased to announce that Company X and Company Y are now operating as one."
Explain What it Means
Existing customers will want to know why the companies are merging and what the outcome means to them, so address these key points early in the letter. Outline specifically what the existing customer can expect to see as a result of the merger, such as expanded services, changes in pricing structure, additional locations or alterations in the existing products and services.
“ABC Co. and XYZ Co. have joined forces to provide a comprehensive network of integrated services that will better serve our customer’s telecom needs.”
"The merger will create a large practice team of experienced staff who are dedicated to serving the needs of emerging and growth-oriented bio-tech companies like yourselves across the country."
A real-world example of a corporate merger/acquisition is Dell Computer Corporation and EMC Corporation in 2015 with the completion of the transaction in September 2016. The new company, Dell Technologies, became the world's largest privately controlled tech company. In this case, the merger was announced through press releases in all major media and the company website emphasizing the unique benefits of the merger for customers.
Strike an Upbeat Tone
Whether the merger you’re announcing is a strategic corporate move that benefits everyone or an unwelcome buyout or takeover, put a positive spin on the development. Emphasize the good things the transition brings to the customer and describe the company’s excitement about how the merger allows for greater customer care or improved service levels. Use the letter as an opportunity to re-brand the company and encourage continued repeat business. Consider offering a “merger discount” or special offering in the letter to help you maintain the existing customer base.
"For us, it will always be about the customer. We assure you that our pricing, product and support procedures will remain unchanged for now, and we intend to incorporate the best features of all our product lines in the future."
Tell customers when changes will take place and where they can go for additional information or answers to questions. Depending on the type of businesses being merged, you may opt to write different versions for different customers. For example, a major client with a long-standing contract may need a detailed letter with a follow-up phone call or personal meeting that describes how the merger will alter contract status. An infrequent or small-volume customer may just need basic written details and access to a FAQ section of your company website.
Lisa McQuerrey has been a business writer since 1987. In 1994, she launched a full-service marketing and communications firm. McQuerrey's work has garnered awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the International Association of Business Communicators and the Associated Press. She is also the author of several nonfiction trade publications, and, in 2012, had her first young-adult novel published by Glass Page Books.