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Company Ownership Change

Yesterday 30 minutes before the end of the day the current owner announced that he sold the company and the new owners will be in tomorrow. All this being said...we are in the process of becoming ISO 9001 certified. We had our Stage 1 Audit in January and our Stage 2 is scheduled for the end of February. We are going from being owned by a single individual with 44 employees to being owned by a large holding company with 24 locations (now 25). I'm hoping to gather more information when they come in to talk to us but right now I'm freaking out a little because it seems this could change everything in our QMS, 19 days before our Stage 2 Audit. We made it through our readiness review with only 2 minor documentation things to fix. Any advice?


Super Moderator
Most likely quite a bit could change, but here's the deal, just do what your asked to do and don't fret about anything else. Decisions are't your's nor is any responsibility until instructed.

John Broomfield

Staff member
Super Moderator
No need to worry.

Your new owner may have bought your company partly in anticipation of your management system being certified.

Later your parent company may seek to rationalize its certifications so your registrar may change sometime in the future.

Put together your plan to manage system changes that may come from head office regarding its IT, HR, Purchasing etc policies and procedures.

The success of the acquisition may well depend on the effective merger of both management systems.


Forum Moderator
Staff member
I would proceed as planned, but be prepared afterwards for changes. Holding companies do not typically force you to adopt corporate processes or use common suppliers, but there are no guarantees. Also, some holding companies will buy companies to milk them for profit, so there may be a strong push to eliminate costs. Holding companies are not known for thinking long term. This is not meant to scare you, but expect changes that may impact your QMS. I have seen/avoided several holding company buyouts. One worked out very well for the plant that was purchased (1 shift to 3 shifts, tripling the business, infusion of capital), but not so well for many of the management team.
The Certification Body should be notified as soon as possible. They don't like surprises. A major change in the organization may effect or may not your certification and the Certification Body should have the opportunity to understand what is going on before the auditor shows up and discovers it.
You don't want to discover concerns that could impact getting certified from not planning ahead. Involving the Certification Body early will make it less likely to have any snags.
Thanks for all the information! I am still in somewhat of a holding pattern with the new company. I have contacted the CB last week and they said we can move forward as planned because there has not been any changes to scope or company size.


Forum Moderator
Staff member
I once interviewed at a company that had been bought out by a holding company. I didn't know about it prior to the interview, but when I observed half of the office areas dark and two thirds of the factory idle, I asked and found out that had happened. The head officer informed me that if I had any thoughts about a personal life outside of work that I should forget them immediately. I couldn't get out of there fast enough.
I've started looking for a new job. I will finish with helping to get the company certified to ISO 9001:2015. There have been changes made to my position and the new company does not believe there needs to be a Quality Manager. I have been told my new position will be administrative assistant. I will no longer have inspectors reporting to me they will now report to the Production Manager. I will now report to the program manager instead of the General Manager. I haven't worked my way up the ladder for the last 15 years no longer have anything to do with quality.
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