Transactions: Closely Held Businesses
This panel considers how to plan for and resolve disputes in family businesses/closely held partnerships/limited liability companies when there is a deadlock or unplanned event. What happens when the business is in financial distress, senior management suddenly dies, or ownership/management are in disagreement on the next steps for the business? The panelists will debate from various perspectives how best to navigate the corporate form to keep a good business model as a going concern. Issues may arise when the company’s president dies/walks away without a succession plan. How can the company continue? What about where the entity is a single-purpose one and commencing bankruptcy requires unanimity — are there fiduciary duties to consider? Different factual scenarios are explored from the perspective of both secured lenders and company counsel, ranging from governance issues to enforcement issues (e.g., no succession plan, deadlocks on voting, no life insurance on president, and lender’s collateral). The panel focuses on considerations on voting, transactional and other governance issues both in and out of court.