Growing your Business
If you are considering significant changes to your business, there are a number of ways to proceed. Whether you are acquiring or merging with another business, restructuring or entering into a joint venture, we can guide you through the legal issues.
Business acquisitions, where one business acquires another can take various forms including:
- a share deal;
- an asset deal; or
- a distressed acquisition (from say an Administrator).
To find out more on how we can guide you through the process, click here.
Changing the ownership structure of your business
(including employee share schemes, employee/owner exits and succession planning)
As your business grows, you may bring some people into the ownership structure and others might leave (for various reasons). There are a number of ways to effect these changes to the ownership structure.
Employee share schemes
A common way to incentivise employees is to give them part ownership in the business (referred to as equity). You could do this by setting up a share scheme, or you may wish to issue shares to employees.
Any issue of shares to employees involves a variety of issues relating to tax and company law. It is important to understand how these issues operate before taking any action.
We can advise you to ensure that the employee incentive scheme you set up does, in fact, operate as an incentive and does not inadvertently cause problems.
What if someone wants to leave the business?
If one or more of the people involved in the ownership of the business announce that they want to leave the business, a number of issues arise:
- Who will buy their share?
- How will that purchase be funded?
- What are the circumstances of the exit – is it amicable or not?
In all cases, it is essential that all involved understand the rights and responsibilities of the various parties. This entails a thorough review of the documentation that governs the relationships between the parties (for example, the partnership or shareholders’ agreement).
We can advise you on:
- the documentation;
- putting the correct structures in place to deal with the above issues; and
- how to operate the terms of those documents as and when needed.
Succession planning for businesses
We advise a large number of family businesses on effective succession planning so that there is continuity and certainty about the future direction of the business.
A merger is one way that a business can be restructured or reorganised. The key features of a merger are:
- a business decides to join forces with another business;
- the owners of each of the businesses become owners in the new business; and
- the process of merging involves transferring the businesses in together and putting in place arrangements to govern the relationship between the parties going forward.
A Joint Venture (JV) structure must both meet the technical, operational and legal requirements of the JV and the underlying commercial objectives of the individual participants.
For more information on how we can help you set up a JV, click here.
Funding your business growth
Finance is critical to any business. We offer straightforward, commercial advice to help our clients achieve their commercial goals.
Working closely with our network of banking and finance experts, and drawing on the expertise of our banking consultant, David Meredith, we can source and negotiate the financial solutions that suit your business.
The key reasons for a company undertaking a share buyback include:
- returning surplus cash to shareholders;
- enhancing share liquidity; and
- providing an exit route for shareholders.
A limited company undertaking a share buyback must comply with the Companies Act 2006. A buyback that is not carried out in accordance with the Act is unlawful and the transaction is void. In extreme cases the buyback may be unwound, in which case the repurchased shares would be treated as still being in issue and held by the original shareholder(s).
Our corporate lawyers will give you clear advice on the process needed to ensure the buyback is dealt with properly.