Sale of company and severance package.

Our company (a sub of big corp) is being sold (stock sale) to another company. We have been offered very good serverance packages should the purchasing company decide they do not want to continue our employment.

The terms of the packages state that if we are offered employment by the purchasing company we get no severance at all (whether we accept the employment or not).

The purchasing company has made it clear that they will not offer employment to anyone that does not want it (thus allowing us to get our severance packages).

The purchase/sale agreement has a clause restricting the purchasing company from offering employment after the sale, to anyone who had received a severance package for a period of 1 year.

Is the restriction on the purchasing company legal? Isn't there an anti-trust violation in there somewhere?

Our goal is to receive the package and then negotiate employment with the purchasing company.

1 answer  |  asked Aug 13, 2002 12:18 PM [EST]  |  applies to Texas

Answers (1)

Margaret A. Harris

The proposal you've received is rather common in the acquisition of companies. Since the departing employees would receive consideration, and since the acquiring company would receive consideration, I see no antitrust violation. Nonetheless, there is strength in numbers and so if a sufficient number of you want to negotiate a better deal, you may be successful. Further, in light of the volatility of the market, you may also consider negotiating for an employment contract for a fixed term allowing your termination under only very limited circumstances. Much of the outcome will depend on the strength of your position with the company -- and how bad the acquiring company needs you.

If I may be of any further assistance, please feel free to call and make an appointment.

Otherwise, I wish you the best of success.

posted by Margaret A. Harris  |  Aug 13, 2002 1:44 PM [EST]

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