Selling the Cake and Eating It Too
Quarles & Brady represented a company engaged in an auction, which sought a buyer for the entire organization rather than its separate assets. Nevertheless, the most likely high-bidder told the client that there was a part of the existing business in which they were not interested. At the time, the economy was weakening and both we and our client realized it, so fast action was needed to salvage the deal. In order to secure a path to the best price for the company, we helped the client carve out and spin off the unwanted business unit, preserving as much of its individual value as possible without diluting any of the value of the remaining business. As a result, the company sold for a healthy $125 million. Meanwhile, the remaining business unit attained independent viability, so our client held on to it and has since then built it into a separate success of its own.
During one of Quarles & Brady’s early IPO transactions, the market crashed in the midst of the deal, so the IPO was put on hold for several months and limped along while the economy regained its footing, allowing us to complete the transaction about a year later. All along the way, the company continued to acquire and divest itself of various assets, so the parameters of the IPO continued to change from month to month until the actual public offering. We were effectively conducting a serial IPO with the same company, whose description continued to change repeatedly, but we managed to keep the deal alive until it could finally be completed.
Quarles & Brady worked with a software company client that went through seven CEOs, went through multiple rounds of private financing, went public, and then was bought out by a private group, which turned around and sold it to another private group. We helped the company through each transaction, often acting as the keeper of institutional knowledge while the leadership changed.