ASK KIM


An IPO No-Go

Kimberly Lankford

Nine years ago, a principal at the firm my husband worked for said the company would go public within two years. We bought $875 worth of company stock. But the company still hasn't gone public and doesn't appear to have plans to do so any time soon.



Nine years ago, a principal at CGN & Associates, the consulting firm that my husband worked for, said the company would go public within two years. We bought $875 worth of company stock. The stock has doubled in value, but the company still hasn't gone public and doesn't appear to have plans to do so any time soon. Can we force the company to buy back the shares?

You have about as much leverage with CGN as a ballerina trying to topple a sumo wrestler. The company gave no written promise to go public in the signed agreement, so you can't claim that there has been a breach of contract, says Joshua Friedman, an employment lawyer in New York City.

Because your contract allows transfers among shareholders, you may be able to negotiate a sale to a former CGN colleague. "The company would be happy to discuss the sale or purchase of any individual's share holdings in CGN," says Carla Clark, a spokeswoman for the company, which sets the value of the stock privately.

Got a question? Ask Kim at askkim@kiplinger.com.




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