How to Resolve 50/50 Shareholder Disputes When there Is No Shareholders’ Agreement

Part Two: Selling Your Shares

When a company is owned 50/50 by two shareholders, is run by two directors and there is no shareholders agreement, then there is unlimited possibility for disputes that lead to deadlock between the two parties.  When the relationship is at the point that one party has to leave, what are the mechanisms for forcing a […]

Business Exits: How to Resolve 50/50 Shareholder Disputes When there Is No Shareholders’ Agreement

Part One: Commercial Solutions

In a perfect world, every company has a shareholders’ agreement to set out what happens if the shareholders later can’t agree on how to run the company.  This is especially so in a “50/50” company where two shareholders have 50% each, a director each and a limitless potential for future deadlock. If, however, there is no […]

Business Exits: How Do I Sell My Minority Interest in a Private Company?

Part Two

If you are a minority shareholder in a private company, there is no automatic right to make the majority shareholders buy you out when you want to sell.  Yes, there can be rights of first refusal in your company’s constitution or in your shareholders’ agreement (if you have one) where you are required to offer […]

Business Exits: How Do I Sell My Minority Interest in a Private Company?

Part One

You may have ended up with a minority interest in company for various reasons. Perhaps you went into business with two friends and you all own 33.3% each. Maybe you were the CEO or a faithful employee and you were given 5% or 10% of the company as an incentive. Perhaps you were an early investor who put in […]

Ben Killerby

Business Exits: Corporate Reasons to Sell a Business

The true test of your success as a business person is not how much revenue you produce, or how many distributors you have or how many countries are your export destinations. The true test comes when you sell your business:  were you able to convince someone other than yourself to buy into the dream? When you […]

Business Exits: Personal Reasons to Sell

Accountants and MBAs can tell you when external events dictate it is time to sell your business.  Sometimes, however, there are personal events that dictate a business exit. The trick is recognising that such events may put your business at risk and moving quickly to exit.  The fact is that once one or more of […]

Business Exits: Selling to Private Equity v. Selling to a Strategic Buyer

Recognise the Differences and Plan Your Strategy Accordingly

Selling your business to private equity (“PE“)  is very different to selling to a strategic buyer.  Each of them approach deals in different ways, so you need to understand these differences and respond accordingly so as to secure the best deal. As a general proposition, there are usually two types of buyers for a mid-market business: […]

Problems with Memorandum of Understanding and Heads of Agreement

These days, business agents, investment banks, accountants and many clients have come to believe that Memoranda of Understandings and Heads of Agreement are an essential part of the transaction documents.  They are not. There are enough problems with using a Memorandum of Agreement (“MoU”) or a Heads of Agreement (“HoA”) to seriously wonder if they should […]

Business Exits: Selling the Family Business

Businesses Come and Go, but Families are Forever

There are many reasons to sell a business, but there is a special overlay when a business has been in the family for many years or family members are shareholders.  In these cases, not only do you have to consider the external and internal drivers for the sale decision, but you have to consider carefully […]

Capital Raising: How VCs and Professional Investors Screen Your Deal

There’s a rule of thumb when pitching to VCs, PE companies and professional investors.  They ask you a lot of questions, but eighty per cent of their questions are designed to find out how you are going to lose their money. I once had something to do with the head of acquisitions for a Middle […]