Bing Blog

The acquisition of Canada, Part Three

He's a lumberjack and he's okay

We now turn, after our last installment in this inquiry, to some of the roadblocks that stand in the way of the acquisition under review. There are certainly many, and they are significant enough to give us pause. All major transactions of this sort do have such issues, of course, and history might be different if those in charge of past efforts like this one had heeded those who raised them. If Rome, for instance, had not attempted to acquire the corporate entities of the Middle East, Asia and Africa, we would not have known of Cleopatra, Hannibal or Pilate, but the Empire might not have stretched itself so thin that it eventually snapped. If Spain hadn't decided to re-Catholicize England, would it still have an Armada? Shouldn't Napoleon have listened to those who advised him against attacking Russia in the wintertime? And how about the Facebook IPO? At any rate, we would be fools indeed if we did not look these questions straight in the face before we moved on so weighty a matter. Here are some that suggest themselves:

Cultural:The acquisition target has its own brand, albeit a somewhat less high-profile and rudimentary one, of which it is proud. Thought should be given to whether some form of continuity should be considered, i.e. incorporation of the maple leaf into future iconography after the merger. As populations have shifted throughout the globe over the last several years, the distinctions between nations have also blurred, however, making the merger of formerly discreet entities more conceivable. Canada is no longer exclusively the domain of lumberjacks and fisherfolk from Scotland and France, any more than Minnesota is an outpost of Stockholm and Oslo. This melding of peoples ultimately renders the entire idea of inviolate nations somewhat obsolete in the long run. Integration of cultures, however, would need to be aggressive and immediate if the merger were not to founder.

Different Benefit Structures: As has been pointed out by several commentors, Canada has a much better health plan, and would be loathe, for very good reasons, to revert to the dysfunctional system under which U.S. citizens must live and die. An analysis is clearly in order to see whether the better structure of the new operating division should be incorporated into the whole. Taking away a superior system in such situations is often a recipe for unnecessary social upheaval. Acquiring parties that intend long-term growth of the merged entity are responsible for overall improvement of social infrastructure, not its destruction and degradation. That's the difference between Marcus Aurelius and Genghis Khan or, for that matter, the guys who decided to take away your pension in the most recent corporate reorganization. That's not what the uber-concept of this deal is all about. A great merger incorporates the best from both parties and jettisons the aspects of each culture that do not work going forward. Putting a Canadian team on the consolidation of health care policies might be a good place to start.

Resistance to Change: This is a polite way of suggesting that portions of the acquired party might prefer to remain independent of the new entity. In spite of the obvious benefits to all sides in this deal, there are those who will oppose it. As anyone from Yahoo will tell you, being the subject of scrutiny by an infatuated and somewhat unwanted suitor, particularly one that is quite big, fat and at times obnoxious, is unpleasant. One is conducting one's business. One feels good about one's corporation. Suddenly, there is a hungry snuffling gorilla in the tent. At the end of the day, there are those who are sentimental about their organization and who do not wish the upheaval that is always involved in a change of management structure. Representatives of this group will be found both at the top end of the scale -- in existing management, the Canadian "military" and other portions of the ruling class -- and in the huge, disorganized mass of highly independent folk spread across the gigantic operating landscape as well. A carrot/stick strategy must be explored and executed with some dispatch if the merger is not to be doomed from the start, as many seem to be. These are but a few of the macro-problems that will face us as we move closer to our goal. They are not unique to this venture. But the scale of the proposed enterprise makes them all the more thorny.

Next: How to get it done.

15 Comments Add Comment

Your perception of Canada having a better health care system is Michael Moore propaganda. Imagine waiting weeks or months for care we receive in days here in the U.S. Also picture having to deal with a government agency when arranging medical care. Despite the shortcomings of our healthcare system it still much better than our neighbors to the north.

If the employees of Canada Corp don't want to work for USA Inc., they can always look for new employment, say, with China LLC. There are plenty of replacement workers from Mexico & Co. as at least 14 million have joined USA (illegally) in the last few years.

What type of acquisiton are we talking about: Friendly or Hostile?

Many acquisitions mentioned stretched from Cleopatra to Napoleon.

Recalling WWII, the allies transformed the acquisitions from hostile to friendly, simply by providing the people of the decimated acquisitions rebirth.

According to old newsreels and movies the allies supplied incentives like coffee, Hershey bars, nylons, greenbacks, Coca cola, PX, and the Quartermaster's Ration Breakdown to influence acceptance.

What incentives can we offer for a proposed friendly acquisition of Canada?

Hmmmm, something to think about?

In response to LT regarding Canadian VS American healthcare: The systems works fine in both countries. The trade offs are the major difference. Imagine for instance you are an American without healthcare coverage and have "sprained" your ankle. Would you go to the emergency room to have an X Ray and fork over the $3K (at least) to find out if it is broken or not. Maybe you'll just go a couple weeks to make sure so you don't have to tap out your savings or let that $3k F@&K up your credit. What if during that period you damaged your ankle even further? Now you need to have surgery and the process is going to cost more than your car loan. Just consider that you don't have any health coverage at all (forget you're corporate Blue Cross Blue Shield). Now let's assume you're speak for the majority of Americans without health insurance. Do you go to the hospital?

Now lets assume that you are a Canadian and you have a BROKEN (Really This Time) ankle... You might be really pissed off to know that you have to wait 24 hours to have an X Ray at SOME hospitals. (Although this is the case at Cook County in Chicago as well). If you need surgery you have to wait a few weeks for some procedures (All real emergencies are taken care of immediately i.e. Heart Attacks, Annuerisms, Pregnancy) like repairing a torn ligament which is viewed as more a cosmetic procedure. There is not a "James Andrews" in Canada. People really don't think twice about going to the hospital or doctor in Canada.
They're covered.

As for the other differences... T

he political system is different. The mud slinging that politicians do in the States (even the Soros backed ads) are an easy way for a candidate to ensure they loose an election. I don't see anything wrong with them having grown up with Newt Gingrich as my representative (Alpharetta, GA.)
They are completely out of bounds here.

In Canada the real only problem between political parties is NOTHING WHAT SO EVER!!! It is a joke. The right (they are the Blue Party here instead of Red like Republicans) are right leaning centrists and hate whatever idea the left comes up with. The left are signified as the Red Party and the only thing they want is to make Marijuana legal. Everything else they come up with is just a different version of what the Right has said before. Oh yeah the Right also wants to build up the military. My representative here is the Minister of Defense for Canada and probably the next Prime Minister.

As far as Quebec goes (This is the spin off or problem division referred to in the other articles). they are part of Canada and as far as I'm concerned should not be spun out because I would love to hear politicians complaining about their rules and laws the have enacted for their own benefit across Canada and in their own Province. i.e. "Both French & English must be printed on every product, directional sign, and document available to the public. However! In Quebec EVERYTHING MUST BE ONLY IN FRENCH. Watching a politician from the south trying to say "Our Official Language is English" is going to be absolutely priceless.

Besides if this new law on backing Unions is passed (where only a majority of workers have to agree and they can vote by anonymous ballot) then you might as well just see if Canada would consider spinning out Quebec to the States, because you'll end up just like France it'd be scary.

A lot of young people in Canada would like to see Obama win the election, however they would see his Presidency as a complete failure (regardless if he is Black or not) if the U.S. does not get National Healthcare. I mean if Romney got Healthcare for everyone in Massachusetts (don't even get me started on a Republican Governor accomplishing that in a Democratic State and why the didn't have that accomplished already) then the entire country should be covered.

Not to be picky, or anything, but the acquisition target is already owned by a third part, being a Commonwealth country with Queen Elizabeth II as its Head of State.

The good news is that Liz might be open to an offer (lots of reports in the UK press recently about how the Royal Family are re-cycling their old clothes, they obviously need the moolah). And the Canadians would welcome the change of Anthem - who needs "God Save the Queen" when you've got "The Star Spangled Banner"?

LT, Alexandria. What you have written about wait times for medical treatment in Canada, is a damned lie. You have obviously spent too much time reading Wall Street Journal Op-Ed pieces, and watching Fox TV In your country, people die because they cannot afford medical care. This does not happen in Canada or any other G8 country. Remarkable how arrogance, ignorance and stipidity often go together.

Bing,
You have it all wrong as usual. The United States is a target for Canada. The Exited States doesn't have any money, Canada does. It has a huge trade deficit, Canada has a huge trade surplus.
Think of the huge rationalization opportunities and savings such as shutting down Washington DC. Canada has the water, oil and lumber that the U.S. does not.
We will offer you 20 cents on the dollar.
M.K.

LT of Alexandria Va. Your comments regarding Canada's health care system are totally inaccurate. (The patient doesn't deal with the government for their care) Also, you live in Alexandria Virginia, which, according to Wikipedia, has the highest income for an endependent city in the state of Virginia. It is also populated mainly with professionals.

What about the 40 million working citizens of your country who are not covered by any company or government sponsored plan.

Perhaps someone has already told you about this, but a friend - a Canadiam - pointed out that there was a bill in US Congress in 1866 to Annex Canada. You can read it yourself at http://www.mysteriesofcanada.com/Canadian_Political_System/us_annexation...

I’m not sure why we are discussing health care here. Let’s talk about the bottom line. Canada has a population of 34 million people if you were to offer $1,000,000 to each shareholder that would be a great bargain for 34 trillion dollars to acquire the property. Consider that the United States has a deficit of over 65 trillion this sounds like a drop in the bucket.

However, taking into account all the resources available I think $10,000,000 per share is more reasonable a number. It seems to me that the Canadians that will object the most will be the ones that already have lots of the green stuff but they are in the minority and put to a referendum to the public I believe it will carry easily.

this idea is over 37 years old. My dad talked to me about selling Canada to the US for $1,000,000.00 per Canada in 1971. I then presented the idea to my English Class that year in a speech.

Make us an offer ;-)

My daughter was born here in Canada in 1994 with congenital heart defects and has required several heart surgeries. Over the course of her life (she is now nearly 14 years old) no matter what our family work or health care situation have NEVER had to worry about her treatment. In a critical situation, we have never had to wait, never had to fork out any money for her medical care. As long as we are in Canada, she will have the care she needs. I feel so blessed here as I have read horror stories (and seen "Sicko") of families with no health care and losing their loved ones for this fact only. Imagine. Losing a family member because you are not well-to-do.
As far as I am concerned, this shouldn't happen in our 'developed' countries and find this almost barbaric to happen in the United States. This is the main reason I wouldn't or couldn't consider living there even though I could probably find a super paying job down south ...
The thought of the United States 'acquisitioning' Canada won't happen while my generation is alive.
Not to mention the protection of our environment as far as US wanting our natural resources... I can envision extinction of wildlife and other man-made disasters... like a kid in a candy store.
I, for one, would not sell out my future generations at ANY price.
I like you guys, but I like our laws and way of life much better, richer or poorer. I have a conscience. Money isn't everything. It really isn't.

Proud Canadian

You are obviously struggling with “How to get it done”. I am not sure about the “acquisition premium” that you intend to offer, but for an acquisition pitch to be successful, I am told that one must first understand the perspective of the other party. What makes you think that Canadians would have any receptivity to an American approach?

What makes you think that they would want their cultural mosaic thrust into the American melting pot? …their social safety net replaced by the right to bear arms and increased access to guns? …the natural beauty and freshness of Whistler and the Cabot Trail enjoined with the smog and crass commercialism of its prospective suitor? …the dynamism of hockey and downhill skiing displaced by the sedentary boredom of baseball? ...the tsunami of an overleveraged mismanaged economy demolishing a sound economy being run with a relatively balanced budget (speaking of foreign concepts)?

To your credit, Bing, you do indicate that “Integration of cultures would need to be aggressive and immediate if the merger were not to founder.” About the only benefit that I can see from this proposed merger is to end the abuse inflicted on Canadians who attempt to cross the border to spend their money in the U.S.

A polite "No thank you" is the most likely Canadian response.

You persistent little bugger. So you are not understanding that we are "disinclined to acquiesce to your request". You already have our best and brightest. I have 2 Canadian born brothers married to Americans both living and working in the United States of Acrimony. (Guess I am the dumb one in the family.)

But we are not interested. Despite our problems, we prefer to remain dependently independent. And how indeed could you get it done? It must likely be a hostile takeover. A red, white and blue dawn. Yet your military is focused on threats elsewhere. We could go to a best of seven in hockey, but I have a feeling that you would turn that down. (Remember that although a "Canadian" team hasnt won the Stanley Cup in a while, that the "American" teams that have, have had mostly Canadian players. Besides, the fact that Tampa and Carolina have won a cup is just part of the Bettman conspiracy. But alas, I digress.) Given your current credit crisis, how could you really afford to buy us out?

So how about a brand in brand partnership (like Dell and Intel)? You have things we want (why else would there be cross border shopping or Canadian Idol). We have things you like (or need-hence this peculiar series of articles). Perhaps we can be stronger working together than on our own. Take health care for example. Should we have poor medical care for everyone? Or great medical care for those that can afford the care (or the insurance). The fact is that in both countries, the rich and famous get the best and fastest medical care. What health care plan are you offering the Canadian "employees" you may acquire? Or are you going to give us all pink slips once the deal is done?

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