Why Mom and Pop Shops Go Corporate

Small businesses facing financial hurdles aren’t the only ones who sell out to large corporations.

There can be many reasons - as well as results, both good and bad - when a local brand is taken over by corporate America.

Consumers are concerned that product quality will change, employees worry about getting laid off and small business owners are left to wonder what will happen to the companies after they sell.

Meanwhile, big businesses aren’t necessarily open about exactly why they want to buy.

“They just have a far different agenda than what the typical seller thinks,” says Jack Garson, attorney and author of “How to Build a Business and Sell it For Millions.”

Here’s a look at why small companies might look to sell and the impact the move can have on loyal consumers when corporations take over.

Beating the Competition

Some small companies, like Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, are so beloved that big competitors are compelled to eliminate their competition simply by buying them. That’s precisely what Unilever (Stock Quote: UN), the makers of Breyer's, did in 2000 when it spent $326 million to take over the brand.

Ben & Jerry’s became popular because of its delicious, creatively-named flavors and its liberal social statements. These were qualities that Unilever appeared to value, at least with their financial benefit in mind. The company promised co-founder Ben Cohen some say in the social stance of the company, presumably to convince him to sell, according to AllBusiness.com.

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