The Signing: Acquired by Alterian

The Dominos Pizzas arrived while we were all scattered among the desks in front of the CEO office. It was late, nearing 10pm in the Alterian office in Bristol, UK. The “deal” team was frantically making the final changes to the stock purchase agreement, while others were trying to coordinate the signing of a wide range of documents from three different continents.

I called Warren Sukernek, the EVP of Intrepid US & Vietnam, who was in Seattle eight hours behind, imploring him to get all the new employment agreements signed. I knew he was trying his best, he always does, but my anxiety was growing by the minute.

Hungry, those of us in Bristol, devoured the pizzas without much enthusiasm. It was just necessary fuel to get us past the finish line.

We had gotten all the signatures from Ed Kim, Director & Country Manager for Intrepid Vietnam, and now were waiting for documents from the London and Seattle offices. The executives who had gathered in Bristol could not sign until all the other documents were first signed and accounted for.

Liz High, the Managing Director of Intrepid UK, informed everyone that all the documents were now accounted for from the London office. I resisted calling Warren again.

Meanwhile, the final schedules to the stock purchase agreement were ready for my review. I particularly focused on the list of our liabilities, which seemed to grow at every revision.

Finally, Warren called with the welcomed news of delivering the necessary documents from the Seattle office. Now, all the documents had to be routed to Alterian’s lead attorney in California.

David Eldridge, the CEO of Alterian, the company that was about to acquire my company, Intrepid, went to the printer while the final version of the stock purchase agreement was being printed. He playfully joked about how the stack of paper felt like a lot of money. We all laughed at the humor, but also with some relief knowing that the deal was about to happen.

It had been almost three months since Alterian approached Intrepid with interest, and five long weeks of grueling due diligence since negotiating the initial terms of the deal in late July. The month of August had been tremendously intense for me, and it was about to end.

With the stack of papers, David and I with the rest of the deal team walked to the front desk and signed the deal in front of the Alterian’s logo. Done deal!

How did I feel just then? Relieved mostly. I was Just happy at being able to move on from the grind of due diligence.

In the following blog posts, I will be writing a series about starting Lift9 a little more than a year ago and merging it into the Intrepid brand before signing this deal to join forces with Alterian.