Mergers/take-overs: Who's who and how to deal with them?
Thread poster: Lianne van de Ven

Lianne van de Ven  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:08
Member (2008)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Apr 8

I have worked for a good agency for several years which has good ratings on the Blueboard. It was taken over by another company last year, resulting in considerable late payment issues during the process that took more than half a year but I was reassured repeatedly, and they now seem resolved. The emails come from the new domain, the logo's have blended, etc. The new company has very poor ratings on the Blueboard from 2013 through 2016 though, which is puzzling to me.

In February I started receiving emails from a new company that was also taken over by this new company. Their style of communicating is very different (Hey there...) and they have a very mediocre rating on the blue board with a short history of 2 years only. I mailed them back twice, once asking for more details about the announced upcoming project, and the second time with the request to be removed from their mailing list for the project, but I never got any reply.

How do you respond to such mergers of what appears to me to be two very different company cultures?
The subjective experience for me is that someone just got a hold of a database of linguists, including myself, and that I am getting job requests from a company that I don't know a thing about, comes across as unpersonable and doesn't respond back to me. All I need to do is sign NDA's and submit availability schedules.

Should I assume that this new company is held by the same working standards and payment terms? I still contact the same old people, vendor contacts, accounts payable etc. when there are issues with the first company. I have no idea who's who in the second. For their email they are currently still using "@oldcompany VIA @newcompany" (just as the previous take-over did). Back last year, I contacted the old company to verify that this was really happening and not some kind of scam. They never sent out any official announcement until I asked these questions and complained about the email domain issues and verification of legitimacy. I am not an expert in scams, but maybe this could be a great scheme to launch.

Personally, I find it unsettling and a bit offending - reflecting poor management and having little regard for their interface with the rest of the world. To me, such a take-over should start with an introductory email to everyone (i.e. all mailing lists), explaining what is happening and how things will be done.

Looking forward to any thoughts, comments and experiences.


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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:08
English to Spanish
+ ...
Unsettling yes, but don't let it upset you Apr 8

One Minneapolis company sends me regular requests, which I, unfortunately, am almost never in a position to accept for scheduling conflicts. Then they were bought by another company. I receive emails but nothing personalized. I just move on.

I don't let that ruffle my feathers, and I keep occupied with other projects.


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Tina Vonhof  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 06:08
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Move on Apr 8

Indeed, that is unsettling. A clear communication about what is happening from either the old company or takeover company #1 would have been helpful and good business practice. Now you have to figure it out for yourself. Look at it this way: if normally you would not have chosen to work for these two takeover companies, don't start now. I agree with Mario: the best thing for you to do is to let it go and move on.


[Edited at 2017-04-08 15:59 GMT]


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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:08
French to English
Answers Apr 9

Lianne van de Ven wrote:

In February I started receiving emails from a new company that was also taken over by this new company. Their style of communicating is very different (Hey there...) and they have a very mediocre rating on the blue board with a short history of 2 years only. I mailed them back twice, once asking for more details about the announced upcoming project, and the second time with the request to be removed from their mailing list for the project, but I never got any reply.



If you asked to be removed from their mailing list, they perhaps understood that you no longer wanted any contact from them. That might explain the absence of reply.



Lianne van de Ven wrote:

Should I assume that this new company is held by the same working standards and payment terms?



The only way to find out is to ask them.



Lianne van de Ven wrote:

Personally, I find it unsettling and a bit offending - reflecting poor management and having little regard for their interface with the rest of the world.



If you are unsettled and offended, consider their management is poor and that they lack regard, these are probably not people you will be happy working with.



Lianne van de Ven wrote:

To me, such a take-over should start with an introductory email to everyone (i.e. all mailing lists), explaining what is happening and how things will be done.



Another sign that you do not appreciate the way they work, perhaps another sign you should have them in the rear-view mirror.


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Lianne van de Ven  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:08
Member (2008)
English to Dutch
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Pondering trends Apr 11

Thanks for your suggestions - to move on, and generally confirming my experience. I am still working with the original company despite their name change and I am ignoring the second one I don't particularly like. (They did not reply to my request to remove me from their list, but they are still sending me project invitations, b.t.w.). It definitely requires understanding and skills beyond translating to manage client/business relationships.

It's not just an individual client issue, however. My general sense is that many agencies experience the same pressures as individual translators do, and that larger translation agencies scope the market to consolidate smaller ones to become large marketing and localization corporations developing cloud CMS and translation interfaces. I strongly feel the need to recognize and understand these larger trends in order to be able to keep doing this work.


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