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A big business merger proves that the process can be effort

With the constantly changing economy, it's not surprising that many people have noticed that throughout the business world, the number of business mergers and acquisitions has been noticeably on the rise. And as many New Jersey residents can guess, it's not an easy transition to make, both for the company and the employees. A business merger shakes up the corporate ladder and can leave many employees without a job.

Still, this isn't always the case. In 2000, Unilever, an international consumer goods company bought out one of the best known American ice cream companies, Ben & Jerry's. At the time of the acquisition, 12 years ago, there was talk that Unilever would become more like Ben & Jerry's and not the other way around. But Ben & Jerry's hasn't lost sight of its environmentally conscious agenda.

Sustainability and social responsibility were new ideas around the time of the merger but since then, many companies have created programs to help reduce their impact on the environment.

"I don't care if they're doing it to look good or to make their wives happy or whatever -- it's a good thing," stated one Ben & Jerry's co-founders. The merger between Ben & Jerry's and Unilever was one that thankfully has had a positive impact not only the company but also society. Although other businesses had been talking about and gradually making a move towards socially responsible programs like those recently created by Unilever, the merged businesses have surely set a path and a model for a smooth merger.

Of course, not all business mergers go as effortlessly and efficiently as this one. Often times, smaller companies end up having to cut employees and alter their policies. Other times, the identity of the smaller business becomes lost within the larger corporation. For New Jersey business owners, the thought of merging their company with that of another can be a terrifying and arduous legal process, but the success of the union between Ben & Jerry's and Unilever can hopefully serve as a model for others dealing with a business merger.

Source: BBC News, "Did Ben & Jerry's change Unilever?," Anthony Reuben, May 23, 2012

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