According to Standard Parking, they expect to close on their deal with Central tomorrow. There hasn’t been a lot of talk bout this ‘merger’ since both companies have been in what is known as a “quiet period.” My guess is that there won’t be a lot of talk after tomorrow, as Standard will be extremely busy finding out all the things its due diligence missed.
That is not to say that Central did anything non toward. In mergers that double the size of one’s company there are always issues and this one is no different. There will be regional offices to close, city offices to close, national headquarters to close…Let’s face it, you can have only one of each.
The only way that this makes any sense is for the management structure to be one management structure, not two. A lot of experience will have to go. It will be a bittersweet time for a large number of senior managers.
Consider for a moment what this means. Standard literally doubled in size. Over 4000 locations, a huge revenue boost in New York City, and it will become the dominant force in many markets.
I only caution that they remember what happened to Central when it had 4400 locations. It began to shrink and ended up with half that many. Sure there were reasons, but one of them was the difficulty of running such a far flung operation. The competition began to hack away at marginal locations and Central itself begin to look closely at some operations and were willing to let them go (take the entire non-US contingent, for instance.)
I’m told that large parking companies are only as good as their local management. I’ve noted before that making the right management choices in the next few months will be critical. Is one existing manager better than another. Who will get the boot? Who will be asked to transfer? How will one set of employees take to working for someone who was their competitor just a few days before?
Standard management has their work cut out for them. I’m certain months of planning has gone into what will happen in the next few weeks. They have the experience and will most likely be successful. We can only wish them the best.
I wonder what Monroe Carell would think if he were here today. He once told me that you can’t make an omelet unless you break a few eggs. And having absorbed such a large number of companies over the years he knew of what he spoke. I won’t speculate except to wonder if he were still around, whether what happened would have happened at all.