Part three of a series: The exit from Feed Your Pet Inc.
The decision to divest has been taken unanimously by the shareholders of Feed Your Pet Inc. (FYP). JoeZweiful, chairman of the board of directors, and Justin Case, chief commercial officer, have teamed up to get the ball rolling. Other board members have officially been informed, under embargo. In record time Joe and Justin have managed to conclude the sale to the satisfaction of all the stakeholders. The associates have been informed. The press release has been sent out. First interviews to the press have been given. Joe and Justin finally find the time to sit back and relax after a few months of one adrenaline shot after another.
Joe: Believe it or not, I’m glad it’s over. Mission accomplished, I should say. Our brief from the shareholders was clear and unambiguous: find a suitor with the deepest possible pockets as soon as you can. As if the company had a sell-by date. Personally I didn’t like this and neither did you, because it could lead to cutting corners, which luckily didn’t happen.
They also said to be concerned about the human resource component, but at the same time stated that this could not become a breaking point in negotiations. We have maneuvered carefully with this, I reckon. This could only be done with the reward scheme that we proposed, which was accepted by the shareholders without further debate.
And now I have news for you. To express their gratitude for what we have achieved in selling the company, the shareholders decided that we will, on top of the reward scheme for all associates, be given a success fee or extraordinary bonus. I have reasons to believe this will be an extremely handsome one.
Justin: That’s good news indeed. And yes, these have been a tough couple of months, but very fruitful ones, I think. Did you ever expect such a keen interest? It sometimes felt as if people wanted to ask: “Where is the dotted line, where do I sign?”
Joe: You may be surprised about the speed with which people can react if they seriously want to have something. And we did a very good job in outlining why we believe that our company might fit their strategic outlook. This enabled us to emphasize our complementary strengths.
Justin: I agree, but am still a bit anxious about the human component. At the price level we have been negotiating, it will be inevitable that departments will be merged, which will lead to job losses.
Joe: Of course I understand and share your fear. However, I am convinced that our two key departments – sales/marketing and R&D – will not be hurt. They have proven their strategic value to our company and do not have their equals in the other company.
Justin: And what about us? Do we count ourselves in or not?
Joe: I have come to the conclusion that once the handover has taken place, there will be no more room for me in the new company. Which I do not regret, because I am not really a corporate animal anyway. So, what can the future bring? Fly fishing in Norway? Another professional challenge?
Justin: You know me well enough by now. I wouldn’t feel comfortable in the new setup, either. Corporate life isn’t my cup of tea at all. It’s probably my entrepreneurial spirit that’s in the way.
Joe: Let me tell you that, after so many years in the industry, pet food got under my skin. How about you?
Justin: I couldn’t have said it better. This is an industry you get addicted to. I very much like its dynamics. Never a dull moment if you stay on the ball. Also, because the global market continues to offer new opportunities, there are new horizons to be explored and exploited. You need to look beyond your own established borders to understand the potential.
Joe: How about setting up business together? In pet food. Do you think we can be meaningful to the market where there is an abundance of suppliers?
Justin: I think we can make a difference, by being unconventional. Nobody is waiting for copycats. I am thinking about reworking waste into good and healthy pet food. Must be doable and if we can help diminish the enormous waste burden, so much the better. It’s taking the industry back to its origins: adding value to waste, which I think will be socially accepted and economically viable.
Joe: Wonderful. When shall we start? To see if we can repeat our tricks from the past.
Justin: Let’s talk about this before long and already agree now that we want to make another impression on the market.
Joe: I like this very much. We boldly say that we will be psychological leaders in the categories in which we will operate. I now understand the essence of big dreams.
Justin: That’s settled then. And let’s do what has brought us the success we hoped for so far. Start our thinking again with product. Because after all, product is the lifeline of any venture we may wish to get into. We’re going to rock boats again!
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