What to Look Out for in a Share Purchase Agreement

2022.04.18

As a general rule, sellers want definitions of confidential information to be broadened as much as possible to protect proprietary information. Conversely, buyers tend to prefer less inclusive definitions to mitigate potential liability. A seller should strive to include flexibility in all commitments made in the agreement so that in the event of a new outbreak, the seller can take reasonable steps to meet applicable government directives. If a corporation consists of several shareholders, there is usually a shareholders` agreement. These agreements set out the rights and obligations of shareholders. In most cases, they contain certain rights related to the resignation of a shareholder. If this is the case, lawyers must take these rights into account in the share purchase agreement of the transaction. The parties may set out certain conditions in an informal letter of intent. If they are interested in continuing the transaction, they prepare the main transaction agreement.

This can be a share purchase agreement, an asset purchase agreement, or a merger agreement. The buyer can exercise due diligence, and if this is the case, this could explain an adjustment to the purchase price as it moves forward with the SPA. A buyer may attempt to include additional and specific warranties in the agreement relating to current events. 1. Forward (or direct) mergers – the target merges with the buyer, taking over all the assets, rights and liabilities of the target company (the target company ceases to exist as a separate entity after that); The share purchase agreement is often abbreviated to “SPA”. For the avoidance of doubt, please note that the generic term “purchase agreement” is sometimes abbreviated to SPA. The forward purchase agreement generally includes the following: The acquisition of shares represents the acquisition of the operational activity of a company. None of the existing contracts with the company will change. When a shareholder sells his shares in a company, he obtains a complete break in the relationship between him and the target company. However, the buyer will insist on certain contractual commitments concerning the company (guarantees) that will continue to bind the shareholder after the sale. A share purchase agreement should be used whenever a person or company sells or buys shares of a company from or from another person or business entity.

In order to prevent the seller and the management of the target company from adversely affecting the company, a buyer will generally use pre-closing clauses to prohibit the target company, its shareholders, directors and management from doing the following: The details of any compensation provided by the buyer or seller are also listed, which covers all costs that may arise after the transaction due to conditions, which existed before the conclusion of the transaction. The special tax treatment to which the buyer or seller may be entitled is also listed in the contract. 3. Reverse triangular mergers – The buyer`s subsidiary enters the target (the target survives and the buyer`s subsidiary ceases to exist). In a share transaction, the buyer acquires shares directly from the shareholder. Share purchases are the most common form of acquiring a private company. They are mainly used by small businesses that sell shares, but usually not if the owner is the sole shareholder or if the buyer acquires 100% of the shares. The purchase contract allows the contractual agreement of a time when the representatives and guarantees must be correct. In the event of a breach of these warranties, the Buyer shall be entitled to compensation. This article deals with the general conditions and variants of a SPA, but is by no means exhaustive.

Some transactions and companies from different industries require different conditions and are often the subject of extensive negotiations between the parties. This article does not take into account the laws of a particular jurisdiction, or antitrust or competition law considerations that may be relevant to certain M&A transactions. In addition, PPS may also be controlled or influenced by existing shareholder agreements between the shareholders of a target company. Earn-outs typically consist of conditional and additional payments that can be made upon completion of certain steps related to future performance and expire at a certain time. Earn-outs mitigate the acquisition risk for a buyer and offer a better price to the seller if they meet their earn-out goals. Earn-outs can be financial (p.B, achieving future revenue goals) or non-financial (e.g. The target company`s key customers will be served after the transaction) and can help manage disagreements about the value of the target if, among other things: there is uncertainty about its future prospects, it is a start-up with limited financial results but has growth potential, or if the seller will continue to lead the business and the buyer wants to motivate the future performance of the seller. There are risks associated with misrepresentation of results or simply non-aligned accounting policies; Therefore, earn-out provisions should be carefully drafted and should include very specific milestones, a clear earn-out period, a clear formula or method for determining earn-out, a method to secure earn-out payment (such as an escrow account or guarantee), and earn-out-specific post-closing clauses. Thus, an earn-out can be considered as an additional payment for the achievement of the agreed goals after closing. While a seller understands the need for other warranties, they may refuse to accept forward-looking warranties beyond the control of the target. This clause is usually very short, but it protects the interests of the buyer, namely that he receives good and appropriate ownership of the shares he buys. A share purchase agreement is defined as a legally valid contract between a seller and a buyer.

They can be designated in the contract as seller and buyer. The specific number of shares is indicated in the contract at the indicated price. This agreement proves that the sale and the terms of the sale were mutually agreed. The transfer of shares of companies to a new shareholder (also called a member), whether by sale or donation, is very common in UK private companies. A share purchase agreement (SPA) is a contract that sets out the terms and conditions of the sale and purchase of shares in a company. Pre-closing covenants generally limit what a seller can do before closing. Typically, commitments given by the seller are heavier than those of the buyer because the seller usually retains control of the target until the transaction is completed. As a promise to do or not to do certain things, pre-closing covenants are common in deferred closing transactions in order to protect and maintain the value of the acquired business between the completion of the PPS and the closing of the acquisition. The structure of a company`s shares is often found in the company`s articles of association. www.themalawyer.com/anatomy-of-a-stock-purchase-agreement/ A holdback is a tool used by buyers to withhold payment of a portion of the purchase price until a post-closing condition is met. A retention is an obligation on the part of the buyer to pay the amounts withheld (usually held in trust) to the fulfillment of the conditions and provides a guarantee on uncertain issues at closing. Restrictions may relate to the achievement of a certain working capital threshold or whether a legal dispute is pending at the time of closure.

For example, if the target has a large number of trade receivables, this amount could be deducted from the purchase price. The withholding (or part thereof) would be paid at a certain future date based on the amount of receivables actually collected after closing. Thus, a withholding can be considered as a reduction in the purchase price if certain post-closing conditions are not met. If a corporation or individual buys or sells shares of the corporation with another company or person, they should use a share purchase agreement. For example, if a company has two partners who have equal shares and one leaves the company, a share purchase agreement can be used to buy its shares in the company. .