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The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank will have enormous repercussions for startups and VCs in ways seen and unseen.  As for the unseen, SVB had deep relationships among the various players in the venture ecosystem.  Founders and investors established banking relationships with SVB in part because of the opportunities SVB provided to network within the space.  It will be difficult for other lenders who don’t have these deep relationships to replace SVB in this capacity and fill this valuable role.Continue Reading Bumpy Ride Ahead for Startups After Silicon Valley Bank Crash

A new federal law goes into effect March 29, 2023 that conditionally exempts from broker-dealer registration persons who solely intermediate small, private company M&A deals.  Persons who intermediate larger private company M&A transactions will not be eligible for the new exemption and will need to continue to rely on the SEC’s 2014 no-action letter.  The new Federal legislation also does not preempt the states, so M&A intermediaries will need to continue to be mindful of state registration requirements.Continue Reading Middle Market M&A Brokers Get Relief

Will employment non-competes soon be banned nationally?  Perhaps, if the Federal Trade Commission gets its way.  Last month, the FTC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (the “NPRM”) that would prohibit just about all employment non-competes. The proposal is now going through a 60-day comment period.  If ultimately adopted in anything close to its current form and survives inevitable legal challenges, the ban will significantly impede the ability of employers to safeguard proprietary information.Continue Reading RIP Non-Competes?

“Never in my career have I seen such a complete failure of corporate controls and such a complete absence of trustworthy financial information as occurred here.” Such was the lament of John Ray, the legendary restructuring executive tasked with the unenviable assignment of serving as the caretaker CEO of bankrupt FTX Trading Ltd.  As the criminal and civil cases by the DOJ, SEC and CFTC against FTX founder and former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried play out in the courts, what does the “complete failure of corporate controls” at FTX teach us about corporate governance, unchecked founder control and the importance of proper oversight?Continue Reading FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried and the Risk of Unchecked Founder Control

Just last week, special purpose acquisition company The Music Acquisition Corporation (“TMAC”) called a special meeting of its stockholders.  It wasn’t the special meeting it originally envisioned.  TMAC was launched in February 2021 by long-time Geffen Records President Neil Jacobson to acquire a music business with the $230 million of SPAC IPO proceeds it raised. 

Elon Musk has lobbed in two additional termination letters since his original July 8 letter seeking to terminate his agreement to acquire Twitter for $44 billion.  Each termination letter cites alleged false representations and blown covenants by Twitter in the merger agreement, purportedly justifying termination.  Twitter’s response to each letter has been the equivalent of

Two startups with competing, equally compelling technologies at the same stage of development are pitching venture capital investors for Series A funding.  One startup is led by a serial entrepreneur founder, the other by a novice.  Assume each will get funded.  In all likelihood, the deal will happen quicker and the amount funded and pre-money

What do founders, employees and investors in privately held companies all have in common?  Limited opportunity to sell their shares.  That’s because of various legal, contractual and market factors that impede the sale of such securities, so liquidity is usually limited to acquisition of or public offering by the company. In recent years, there’s been

Another week, another chapter in the Elon Musk-Twitter saga.  Last month, Musk posted tweets questioning longtime Twitter claims that automated “spambots” make up fewer than 5% of monetizable daily active users.  But on June 6, Musk upped the ante by having his lawyers at Skadden send a demand letter to Twitter reiterating his demand for

In what seems like one of the speediest transaction processes ever for a deal of its size, Twitter agreed on April 25, 2022 to be acquired by Elon Musk for $54.20 per share or about $44 billion.  It all started with Musk disclosing on April 4 that he had taken a 9.2% stake in Twitter,