Being acquired by a private equity firm is both a stressful and exciting time for the management team of any business. In addition to your traditional duties of actually running a successful company, you will also be called on to keep the deal process moving forward, which is itself a full-time job. And all the while, you will need to strike a careful balance between the expectations of the current and future owners.
In all that chaos, it is easy for some C-level executives to lose sight of the fact that a PE acquisition is, in part, a negotiation about their individual interests as well (which interests may not be perfectly aligned with those of the business owners). In most of these transactions, the management team will be asked to sign employment agreements, equity award documents, and other agreements in connection with the closing. Three common areas of negotiation in these arrangements are...
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