I got an email from The Wicked Stepmother last night seems like she hadn’t received anything back from me or the go-between. Turns out the go-between hadn’t been to his office for the last few days and hadn’t got my email. Oh well.
So I replied to her email and spoke to the go-between. (Aside: aren’t all these codenames tricky?). Then I called my lawyers and got some general tactical advice. The summary of which was offer what you can.
So I offered them what I could. All the non-monetary things they wanted, 1/3 of their cash settlement offer now and another 1/3 in 12 months. I told them I would enter a multi-year deal and I was offering all I could over 12 months (2/3 of their claim). They said they wouldn’t wait for 5 years either.
They wanted 100% of the cash. I was afraid they’d take that position. I said “I’ll give you the other 1/3 after another 12 months but that was all I had and wouldn’t threaten the company by committing to a outlay that wasn’t viable”. They’d get back to me.
A while later I got a call, they wanted 100% paid 1/3 now and 2/3 in equal weekly installments over 40 weeks. They tried to play the emotional line about building a company from nothing over 20years to get nothing. I thought the $1Million they’d got so far wasn’t really nothing, but didn’t mention it. Instead I told her I’d call her back once I looked at the cashflow implications of their demands.
I called the lawyer, who said to stick to the message. I called the go-between who said stick to the message.
Then I got angry. No way the company can pay that sort of weekly drain. That’s what got us into this mess in the first place. Aside from the cash I am giving up a few valuable assets including a 50% shareholding in their childcare centre and current business. So I called them back and told her that. She said 50% of nothing is nothing. I stuck to my message about responsible spending and that is all I have.
She didn’t believe me, and we’d probably end up in court.
I repeated the message I don’t want to spend a fortune in court, I do want to settle this and am offering them 100% of what they want. I am giving them 100% of what I can conceivably give. If they don’t want it then at least I tried. She said they’d let me know.