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Hello I am a shareholder in a maintenance company, owning appx 25%. My former three partners made me an offer for my shareholding last summer; 15k payable over 15 months. I declined this, believing that a fairer offer would have been circa 50k. The company has been trading appx 10 years. During my time at the company (2005-2010) we were turning over appx 1M pa and making a reasonable profit. I understand that recent profits have been in the region of 60k pa. I now understand that my former partners are setting up a new company with the plan of running down the old company, in order to avoid paying me dividends or buying me out. We all started the company together and vowed that we would treat each other fairly. Should they be able to do this, my "investment" will have effectively been stolen from me, or at least that's how I see it. Do I have any avenues available to me to ensure that I can protect this shareholding? Many thanks.
Thanks for your response.
I don't have a copy of a shareholders agreement, so I couldn't give you much information without a little uncertainty.
We didn't formally set up an agreement initially. This was only an afterthought, and whether it was signed by all by the time I left them I couldn't really say. (I do think one is in place though - sorry to be vague)
The other three shareholders are directors, yes.
I have it on good authority that a new company is being set up, quite whether it has yet remains to be seen. I am keen to be able to steal a march though, hence the enquiry.
Assets would be limited, except a few vans really (say 4 or 5).
The company has a good trading history and in terms of what will transfer to the new company it is more realistically the goodwill.
To my knowledge they have much repeat business, but no long term contracts as such.
I was instumental getting the company off the ground in 2005. Their offer to me last year was based upon the average (not the total) of six or seven years profits, divided by four.
I am guessing I have no recourse, but, in my eyes, because I won't go quietly with their insulting offer, they are looking to cut me out altogether.
Brilliant! Thank you, AJ.
I will keep my cards close to my chest and act when the time is right.
These people, together with the person that they are receiveing "advice" from, were all close friends to me at one point. You never can tell!
Thanks again. Have a good Christmas.