Your place or mine? (or somewhere else completely)

Newly-weds move into dream-homes, where they can live happily ever after. That's the romantic ideal anyway. Plenty know the reality is very different. What about firms who get together? How do they make their new relationship work? Does everyone pack up and leave for spanking new premises, under whose roof two companies become one? As with married couples, it's a bit more complicated than that.

Jarosław Zagórski, Senior Negotiator of Cushman and Wakefield H&B believes that whatever companies involved in mergers or acquisitions do decide, ,the best solution is to move into new space, for psychological reasons if nothing else". Only by doing so, it can be supposed, can two merging companies properly forge a new identity. Given recent experience in Warsaw however, it is clear that this is not a choice a lot of firms actually rush to make.
On May 3rd this year, computer hardware companies Hewlett Packard and Compaq officially merged worldwide and until now, in Warsaw, both have continued to work from office space in University Business Centre, (on Szturmowa 2a), and Curtis Plaza, (on ul. Woloska), respectively. However by the end of November, Compaq's staff of 220 should be ensconced in the new company's office, (in the same building as now but with 2,300 sqm. extra space), and sixty have already moved.

Staying put, for now
According to spokesman James Foley, partner with business consultants Ernst and Young in Warsaw, the company's recent agreement concerning Arthur Andersen does not constitute a 'merger' as such. They would rather describe themselves as having ,combined teams with AA", in the areas of tax, audit, legal practice and real estate consultancy. There is currently no increase in the company's need for office space and for the next three years or so, both sets of employees will remain where they are until their current leases expire: AA staff work from Warsaw Financial Centre and Ernst and Young from Warsaw Towers. The proximity of these buildings, says Mr. Foley, means there is no urgent necessity for them to look for new space. However, it is quite possible that they will be looking for a brand new base after the three years are up.
,Very often, companies' lease agreements keep them where they are, even though merging usually means there's a need for new space," confirms Jarosław Zagórski.

Lack of space
Price Waterhouse and Coopers Lybrand merged way back in 1998. The Warsaw Voice then wrote: ,the marriage of these two firms in Poland will not be accompanied by a reduction in the work force. Just the opposite: PwC aims to recruit personnel in what the company describes as a very promising Polish labor market". Since then the two sets of employees have been working from ul. Nowogrodzka 68 but are now due to move to the new International Business Centre on Al. Armii Ludowej around the middle of January next year, where they will occupy approximately 8,000 sqm. A PWC spokeswoman claimed when speaking to Eurobuild, that the move was unrelated to the merger, in that the latter occurred four years ago, but at least two real estate agents have informed the magazine that lack of current space was precisely the reason staff are being moved. IBC's developer GE Capital Golub Europe acknowledged that they had paid compensation to Nowogrodzka 68's owners, so that PwC could break their leasing contract there.