On 15 December 2007, Sammy Lasseel was facing an important decision that could change his life, but he had to act quickly. He joined Basic Textiles last year as CEO, with an option to buy the company within the year. The current shareholders have given him an ultimatum: Sammy had the opportunity to buy the company for 4 million euros, but he had to decide before Christmas. If he declined their proposal, he would be fired as CEO as from January 2008 onwards. Sammy first had to decide whether he was willing to pay 4 million euros for the shares. If so, how could he finance the takeover?
This is part of a case series. At the end of 2004, about four years after the management buy-out (MBO), the private equity investor Buy Out Fund (BOF) started preparing for the exit. Within two to three years, BOF would sell its Pizza Belgium shares. Stef Meulemans knew that he would probably have to sell his shares too. It could not be excluded that the buyer would install his own management team, and he would definitely not be a shareholder anymore. That was why he seriously considered taking the plunge for the second time. A secondary buy-out would be difficult, but he had no other option if he wanted to remain a shareholder of Pizza Belgium. This time five other managers were eager to join the MBO. Stef was willing to invest the proceeds of the sale of his 15% stake. The other managers could invest 50,000 euros each. Stef and the other managers had to make an interesting offer to BOF. Stef knew they would have to attract a new private equity player, but one thing Stef knew for sure: he wanted to be the majority shareholder.
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