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In conversation with Mike McCarron Part 4: The biggest surprise in selling MSM Transportation

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. –On October 16th, Mike McCarron, the well-known former owner of MSM Transportation will team up with M&A guru Doug Nix for the much anticipated session “Mergers & Acquisitions in Transportation: How big are...


MISSISSAUGA, Ont. –On October 16th, Mike McCarron, the well-known former owner of MSM Transportation will team up with M&A guru Doug Nix for the much anticipated session “Mergers & Acquisitions in Transportation: How big are the opportunities?”  at our Surface Transportation Summit.

The session, moderated by publisher and editorial director Lou Smyrlis, will provide insights for both potential buyers and sellers.

About a year ago, in a move that caught the industry by surprise, McCarron, at the age of 52 and in the midst of considerable business success, sold MSM Transportation to Wheels Group for $18.6 million. Executive editor James Menzies caught up with him shortly after for an exclusive story that revealed the reason for the sale, the significance behind its timing, and what he learned along the way. To prepare you for the M&A session at our Surface Transportation Summit, we are re-running the 7-part interview.

To find out more and register for the Surface Transportation Summit click here: www.surfacetransportationsummit.com.

Enjoy Part 4 of our wide-ranging discussion with McCarron:

Part 4: The biggest surprise & Keeping it quiet

TN: What was the biggest surprise about the whole process?

McCarron: Just how complex and difficult it is to get a deal done. The amount of detail, the amount of tension, the amount of planning, the amount of costs incurred, given the complexity of the deal. The other thing that surprised me was how difficult it is to have your management team focused on trying to get a deal done, while also focusing on trying to keep the numbers up on a day-to-day basis.

TN: Throughout this entire process, how important was it to keep things quiet and how did you accomplish that?

McCarron: It’s very important. We heard almost no rumours on the street. We gave it a code name; we called it Project Mango.

The people who worked on it all signed confidentiality agreements. What I found is that, where you start getting rumours is when the meetings start happening. Once a week, someone from Wheels was at our offices and people start seeing lawyers and accountants come in. People start sensing something is going on. When we started actually hearing rumours in the industry was when we had to involve outside people. For example, when we went to someone to evaluate all the equipment. Once you start involving third parties, it’s hard to keep a lid on it.

I wasn’t massively concerned about rumours. We wanted to keep it confidential in case it didn’t go down, but we weren’t playing four or five parties against one another. We knew Wheels was best strategic fit, it was just a question of getting the deal done.

TN: I didn’t hear anything, if that means anything.

McCarron: And you would, too. Where you normally hear things is from the suppliers. If people say so-and-so is having trouble, and it’s from a competing trucking company, I don’t put any credence in that. But where rumours in this business are credible is when they’re coming from the supplier side, for example so-and-so is trying to renegotiate leases on their trailers.

– In Part 5 of our interview with Mike McCarron, we ask about the process of communicating the deal to employees.

To register for the Surface Transportation Summit and attend the M&A session click here: www.surfacetransportationsummit.com.


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