In Part 1 of this series (Secondary Transactions and 409A Valuations – Part 1: The Potential Impact), we discussed secondary transactions and their impact on 409A Valuations. To recap, the liquidity that some founders and early employees receive from their company or outside investors, considered secondary transactions, can sometimes re-establish the price per share for stock option grant (409A) purposes at the same price as the secondary transaction. Secondary transactions are often done in conjunction with a funding round so they are often at the same price as the round’s preferred stock. If common stock was sold in the secondary transaction, future option grants may have to be granted at this higher price, which is not ideal for new employees receiving options based on the latest preferred stock price. (more…)
As VC-backed companies mature, they may not be ready for an IPO or a sale, but private secondary transactions on common stock are a way to get some liquidity for the founders prior to an exit.
Any secondary transaction with the Company’s common stock should be carefully evaluated to determine the relevance and the potential impact on the common stock price for 409A Valuation purposes. The AICPA guide: Valuation of Privately-Held-Company Equity Securities Issued as Compensation establishes a clear set of rules regarding this issue. (more…)