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In conversation with Mike McCarron Part 5: Delivering the news

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. -- On Oct. 23, 2012, Wheels Group announced it had acquired MSM Transportation in a blockbuster deal worth $18.6 million.

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — On Oct. 23, 2012, Wheels Group announced it had acquired MSM Transportation in a blockbuster deal worth $18.6 million.

The announcement came as a surprise, in part because Mike McCarron, managing partner and the public face of MSM Transportation was just 52 years of age – seemingly too young to be considering retirement.

What was the reason for the sale? Why was the timing significant? And what was learned along the way about the arduous process of selling an established business? For the answers to these questions and more, we caught up with McCarron for an exclusive interview.

When we spoke to McCarron, he had just assumed a new position in mergers and acquisitions with Wheels Group (a role he was mindful not to discuss with Wheels until after the sale of MSM had been finalized).

Over the course of the next week, will be running the seven-part interview. The interview will also appear in the January issues of Truck News and Truck West magazines. You can also check out the November-December issue of Motortruck Fleet Executive to catch McCarron’s regular column, in which he writes about his reasons for selling the business.

Part 1: Why he sold his business

Part 2: Finding the right fit

Part 3: Negotiating the deal

Part 4: The biggest surprise & keeping it quiet

Part 5: Communicating the deal

TN: When the deal was completed, how did you communicate it?

McCarron: We had a lot of direction from Wheels on that. Because Wheels is a public company, we had to be very careful about how we announced it. Basically, at the same time, after markets closed in Toronto and in the US, we had staff meetings and a press release was issued by Wheels.

TN: I imagine this was a real shock for your employees. How do you soften the blow?

McCarron: You don’t. It’s difficult. People are smart and they realize that jobs might get rationalized and things get condensed. So, rightly so, people are very nervous anytime a business is sold. We did everything we could to protect everyone’s job, but the reality is that Wheels Group has to do what’s best for their business and their shareholders.

We can’t control that. What I said to our employees is that the most important thing is that if a company is looking to rationalize positions, they’re going to take the best employee, the person who works the hardest and the person who’s producing. They’re going to pick the best, so the key is to work hard like you have been, contribute, do your job and it’ll work out no matter where you go. It’s difficult, but I say this to people all the time: Unless your name is on the front of the building, you have no say.

– In Part 6, we talk about making the transition from company owner to employee.

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