Financing Term Sheet Deep Dive: Protective Provisions

Whether you’ve only recently decided to seek out capital for your business or you’ve already received (or made) your first offer, the term sheet (or “letter of intent”) is an integral part of the process.  

In this series we’ll look to shed some light on the legal language contained in that term sheet by taking a “deep dive” into the most often used terms and how choices made in selecting those terms can affect both Company and Investor.  Check out an overview here.

Financing Term Sheet Deep Dive will be published each Monday morning until conclusion. For more information, check out www.hoeglaw.com or drop Rick a line at rhoeg@hoeglaw.com.

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Last week, we discussed one of the primary governance rights given by a Company to its Investors: board representation. This week, we talk about the other primary governance right: “protective provisions”.

Under most state laws, a corporation (or an LLC) cannot take certain significant actions without getting the approval (or “consent”) of the holders of the company’s equity. Generally, this right is held by a majority in interest of all such holders.

The term “protective provisions” is a fancy way of saying (in legalese) that in addition to getting majority approval, the Company must also get the approval of a set percentage of the Investor class in order to take certain of these actions.  In other words, the Investors are “protected” from the Company’s doing certain things without their having agreed.

Continue reading “Financing Term Sheet Deep Dive: Protective Provisions”

Financing Term Sheet Deep Dive: Board Representation

Whether you’ve only recently decided to seek out capital for your business or you’ve already received (or made) your first offer, the term sheet (or “letter of intent”) is an integral part of the process.  In this series we’ll look to shed some light on the legal language contained in that term sheet by taking a “deep dive” into the most often used terms and how choices made in selecting those terms can affect both Company and Investor.  Check out an overview here.

Financing Term Sheet Deep Dive will be published each Monday morning until conclusion. For more information, check out www.hoeglaw.com or drop Rick a line at rhoeg@hoeglaw.com.

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It is probably no surprise that those putting thousands or even million dollars into a company often want some ability to “direct” that company’s affairs. Such is one of the primary rights given by a company to its investor partners when it accepts investor funds.

Dividends and liquidation preferences are the primary “economic” rights. Board representation and protective provisions (discussed later in the series) are the primary “governing” rights.

Today we’ll be discussing board representation.

Continue reading “Financing Term Sheet Deep Dive: Board Representation”

Financing Term Sheet Deep Dive: Liquidation Preference

Whether you’ve only recently decided to seek out capital for your business or you’ve already received (or made) your first offer, the term sheet (or “letter of intent”) is an integral part of the process.  In this series we’ll look to shed some light on the legal language contained in a financing term sheet by taking a “deep dive” into the most often used terms and how choices made in selecting those terms can affect both the Company and the Investor.  Check out an overview here.

Financing Term Sheet Deep Dive will be published each Monday morning until conclusion. For more information, check out www.hoeglaw.com or drop Rick a line at rhoeg@hoeglaw.com.

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If dividends are the interest paid on a standard loan, then the “liquidation preference” is the return of principal.  Together they form the economic spine of the stock (or other securities) sold to the Investor, and, as such, should be the primary focal point of negotiations related to the Company’s value.

Put simply, a “liquidation preference” is an amount of money which the Company agrees to pay to the holders of its preferred stock (or other securities being sold) prior to (or in “preference”) to all other funds it is to pay its other stockholders upon the Company’s sale (or “liquidation”).

Unlike in a standard bank loan, however, a “liquidation preference” can take many forms, some much more costly than others.

Continue reading “Financing Term Sheet Deep Dive: Liquidation Preference”

Financing Term Sheet Deep Dive: Dividends

Whether you’ve only recently decided to seek out capital for your business or you have already received (or made) your first offer, the term sheet (or “letter of intent”) is an integral part of the process.  In this series we’ll look to shed some light on the legal language contained in a financing term sheet by taking a “deep dive” into the most often used terms and how choices made in selecting those terms can affect both the Company and the Investor.  Check out an overview here.

Financing Term Sheet Deep Dive will be published each Monday morning until conclusion.  For more information, check out www.hoeglaw.com or drop Rick a line at rhoeg@hoeglaw.com.

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When you take out a home loan or put money on your credit card, it is on the understanding that the bank (or other institution) lending you money will expect something back for the trouble. In the case of a traditional loan instrument that “payback” comes in the form of interest, generally described as a percentage of the amount initially lent (or “principal”).

In the equity financing world, the “payback” concept is instead captured by the notion of the “dividend”, or right to receive funds from a company solely because of the stock that you hold.

Let’s take a look at a few of the options.

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Financing Term Sheet Deep Dive: Valuation

Whether you’ve only recently decided to seek out capital for your business or you’ve already received (or made) your first offer, the term sheet (or “letter of intent”) is an integral part of the process.  In this series we’ll look to shed some light on the legal language contained in a financing term sheet by taking a “deep dive” into the most often used terms and how choices made in selecting those terms can affect both the Company and the Investor.  

Financing Term Sheet Deep Dive will be published each Monday morning until conclusion. For more information, check out www.hoeglaw.com or drop Rick a line at rhoeg@hoeglaw.com.

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Last week we gave an overview of just what a financing term sheet is and why it is important (check it out here if you missed it). This week we begin our first real “deep dive” discussion.  To start us off, we’ll consider the top line item, the one of most concern to both Company and Investor alike: What is the price of the stock being sold? (Or, by corollary, how much of the Company does the current ownership have to “give away” in exchange for the investment?).

What we will see is that the answer to that question all comes down to what the parties “value” the Company at prior to investment:  the “pre-money” valuation.

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Financing Term Sheet Deep Dive: An Overview

Whether you’ve only recently decided to seek out capital for your business or have already received (or made) your first offer, the term sheet (or “letter of intent”) is an integral part of the process.  In this series we’ll look to shed some light on the legal language contained in a financing term sheet by taking a “deep dive” into the most often used terms and how choices made in selecting those terms can affect both the Company and the Investor.  

Financing Term Sheet Deep Dive will be published each Monday morning until conclusion. For more information, check out www.hoeglaw.com or drop Rick a line at rhoeg@hoeglaw.com.

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One of the primary times that a client will seek out my advice is when they are faced with reviewing (or drafting) a term sheet for the sale (or purchase) of a company’s stock. For those who have not gone through the process, the notion of a term sheet (a document that lays out the basics of a proposed transaction but not in sufficient detail to actually effect the sale) can seem a little odd or even antiquated.  What good is a document that expressly states that it is “non-binding”, after all?

The easiest answer, like many things in the law, is that offering a term sheet before drafting definitive documents is simply the way things are done.  But, while true, that answer is not only pat (and somewhat unhelpful), it is also incomplete.

Continue reading “Financing Term Sheet Deep Dive: An Overview”