How Not to Sell a Business Part 3

BY Basil Peters

Things I Learned Not to Do When You Sell a Business

This is a talk I gave to the Vancouver Chapter of the Entrepreneurs Organization (EO) on February 19, 2009.

Highlights of Part 3:

  • I learn about how nasty take over battles can get.
  • I was a rookie and ended up playing defense all the way through.
  • The night before the big board meeting to determine our fate, my second daughter is born.
  • Luckily, the board voted my way – by a single vote. Another important lesson for me.
  • Just as I start to feel confident, our lawyer says “Extraordinary Shareholders Meeting” and “super majority”.
  • I’m about to learn another important lesson…
  • It turns out our fate hangs on a question about our company Articles – a document that I’d never read.
  • I promise myself that I will never again neglect to repair the ‘structural defects’ early.
  • We finally get the sale done, but I regret we ‘rode it over the top’.
  • It takes me another ten years to understand all the things we did wrong.
  • The truth is… we were lucky. To this day, I wish we’d had a good exit strategy and checked the alignment.
  • In part 4 I talk about how an exit works when everything is done the right way.

Part 4 of How Not to Sell a Business is online here.

Many of the lessons I’ve learned are described in my new book on exit strategies for entrepreneurs and angel investors –