All Posts: ‘Dealmaking Generally’

Doing Deals – 3 Tips for Entrepreneurs (Part 3)

by Scott Edward Walker on August 25th, 2011

Introduction

I’ve been doing deals as a corporate lawyer for 17+ years, and there are certain fundamental mistakes that I’ve seen entrepreneurs make over and over again.  Accordingly, I thought it would be helpful to share three basic tips in connection with doing deals.  This is part three of a three-part series, which was originally posted on Forbes.

In part one, I discussed the importance of being careful with letters of intent, creating a competitive environment and using your lawyer as a “bad cop.”  In part two, I discussed the importance of checking your emotions and remaining disciplined, not blinking first and leaving some chips on the table.

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Doing Deals – 3 Tips for Entrepreneurs (Part 2)

by Scott Edward Walker on July 20th, 2011

Introduction

I’ve been doing deals as a corporate lawyer for 17+ years, and there are certain fundamental mistakes that I’ve seen entrepreneurs make over and over again.  Accordingly, I thought it would be helpful to share three basic tips in connection with doing deals.  This is part two of a three-part series; it was originally posted on Forbes.  In part one, I discussed the importance of (i) being careful with letters of intent, (ii) creating a competitive environment and (iii) using your lawyer as a “bad cop.”

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Doing Deals – 3 Tips for Entrepreneurs (Part 1)

by Scott Edward Walker on July 13th, 2011

Introduction

I’ve been doing deals as a corporate lawyer for 17+ years, and there are certain fundamental mistakes that I’ve seen entrepreneurs make over and over again.  Accordingly, I thought it would be helpful to share three basic tips in connection with doing deals.  This is part one of a three-part series; it was originally posted on Forbes.

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Doing Deals in the New Decade: 7 Tips for Entrepreneurs

by Scott Edward Walker on January 20th, 2010

Introduction

This post is a longer, more comprehensive version of the post I wrote a couple of weeks ago for VentureHacks, one of the best websites for startups, in which I recommended five New Year’s resolutions for entrepreneurs.  Indeed, as I noted in that post, during my 15+ years as a corporate lawyer (including nearly eight years at two major law firms New York City), I have seen entrepreneurs make certain fundamental mistakes over and over again in connection with doing deals.  So what better way to welcome in the new decade than to provide seven basic tips for entrepreneurs.

(Message to all of my female clients and readers: (i) the term “guys” includes “gals”; and (ii) in tip #6, you can decide what the term “balls” includes.)

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Buying A Business: Ten Tips For Entrepreneurs

by Scott Edward Walker on October 6th, 2009

As I have previously noted, I was a corporate attorney for nearly eight years at two major law firms in New York City; and the majority of my work there was spent negotiating and documenting large mergers and acquisitions for multinational corporations, financial institutions and private equity firms.  When I moved out here to California in 2005 and started focusing on representing entrepreneurs (which meant predominately middle-market M&A transactions), I was surprised to see how unsophisticated a lot of the players are here; in short, it’s a different environment than New York.  Nevertheless, I love living in California, and I am trying to provide to entrepreneurs (via these blog posts) some legal tips and lessons I learned at the big firms in New York City.  Below are ten tips for entrepreneurs who are contemplating acquiring a private company.   (more…)

Five Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make in Dealmaking – Part I

by Scott Edward Walker on September 29th, 2009

I’ve been doing deals as a corporate attorney for over 15 years, including nearly eight years in the trenches at two major law firms in New York City; and during that period, I have seen certain mistakes made by entrepreneurs (and inexperienced deal guys) over and over again.  The purpose of this post (which is part I of a series) is to discuss the following five basic mistakes made by entrepreneurs in connection with corporate transactions: (1) the failure to diligence the guys on the other side of the table; (2) the failure to build a strong transaction team; (3) the failure to run the negotiations through the lawyers; (4) the failure to check their emotions and to remain disciplined; and (5) blinking first.  The video version of this post is set forth immediately below.

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Selling A Company: Ten Tips For Entrepreneurs

by Scott Edward Walker on September 25th, 2009

Below are ten legal and practical tips for entrepreneurs who are contemplating selling their venture.

1.  Be Careful with Private Equity Buyers.  Private equity firms are in the business of buying and selling companies.  Accordingly, they are extremely sophisticated and savvy and are often represented by large, aggressive law firms.  Deals with private equity buyers are generally more complex than those done with strategic buyers due to, among other things, the level(s) of debt added to the target and/or financial engineering.  Moreover, unlike most strategic buyers, private equity buyers (i) usually require the selling entrepreneur to rollover part of his/her equity into the acquirer (i.e., to maintain skin in the game) and (ii) may require a financing condition in the acquisition agreement – which obviously adds a level of uncertainty to closure.  (more…)

Doing Deals With The “Big Boys”: Ten Tips For Entrepreneurs

by Scott Edward Walker on September 7th, 2009

Entrepreneurs often find themselves in high-stakes negotiations with big, savvy players (referred to herein as “Big Boys”) — whether it be a venture capital firm in connection with a financing or a private equity firm in connection with the acquisition (or recapitalization) of the entrepreneur’s business; the situation can indeed be daunting.  Below are ten tips for entrepreneurs to help them through this process.  (more…)