As litigation claims against portfolio companies have increased, so have accompanying claims asserted directly against funds (and their sponsors). Plaintiffs’ reasoning for including funds as defendants is no mystery: funds often have greater financial resources than the defendant portfolio company, particularly where the portfolio company is in distress, and thus represent the proverbial “deep pockets.” … Continue Reading
Another source of litigation risk for fund sponsors are claims brought by portfolio company employees. Sponsors should be aware of these risks, particularly when the portfolio company is in distress or is considering a sale or other transaction affecting the disposition of shares in the company. We have set forth below just a few examples … Continue Reading
Valuation practices will continue to be the subject of disputes. Particularly in times of economic disruption and market volatility, buyers and sellers are more likely to have substantial differences of opinions on valuation, which often lead to the use of earn-outs and resulting post-closing disputes. Use of a cost basis for recently acquired assets may … Continue Reading
Private funds frequently negotiate for special rights when making an investment in a portfolio company, such as the right to appoint one or more board directors, voting rights, and liquidation preferences. Fund sponsors often focus solely on the positive aspects of these special rights, such as increased control, without considering fully other implications. As the … Continue Reading
Over the last few years, we have seen an uptick in litigation claims against sponsors and funds arising out of their interests in portfolio companies. A fund sponsor’s participation on a portfolio company board, in particular, is a risk factor for the entire investment structure (the GP, the Management Company, individual members of the GP … Continue Reading
The recent IPOs of Snap, Inc. and Blue Apron indicate that while the IPO pipeline continues to flow, there may be a cautionary tale for “unicorns” – venture-backed companies with estimated valuations in excess of $1 billion. After Snap went public in March, it posted a $2.2 billion loss in its first quarter, yielding a … Continue Reading
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