TPI and Equaterra Call Off Merger Plans

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    Back in early February, two sizable outsourcing advisory firms announced their intention to merge — and to rename the new entity "Veritage." (See "EquaTerra and TPI Sign Merger Agreement, Announce New Name.")


    Today, that deal is off — terminated "by mutual consent of the parties." Both companies "have agreed to go their separate ways as providers of expert advice related to the information technology and business process operations of their clients."


    According to an Equaterra company spokesperson, "an internal issue that could not be agreed upon surfaced very late in the merger process." This same person said, "It was not an issue that would have an impact on either of the firm’s clients or the marketplace. It was simply an impasse in the negotiations that led to a mutual decision to end the agreement. It was a very difficult decision for both firms to make as the synergies between the two firms and the market opportunities remain strong and positive. Further, both firms’ clients felt limited impact when the merger announcement was made, and will see business as usual following this announcement."


    Could it have been disagreement about who would hold the Chairman and CEO positions? (I just assumed TPI’s Dennis McGuire would keep the former and Equaterra’s Mark Toon would take the latter.) Perhaps it came down to money, how the consulting fees and partner-level bonuses would be divvied up. Or maybe once due diligence began, Mr. Toon remembered why he left TPI in the first place.


    Veritage.com was registered by TPI, so they inherit that. I’m hoping TPI doesn’t change its name to suit its new domain name. (Personally, I think it sounds more like a mortuary corporation than an advisory firm.)


    What do you think happened?


    Equaterra is online at http://www.equaterra.com/default.aspx.


    TPI is online at http://www.tpi.net/.

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