When the Deal Goes Wrong: Protecting Yourself Through Using Business Mediation

How Business Mediation Can Protect You

What started out as preliminary negotiations about a merger between two venture-funded companies, turned into an existential battle for the future of one of the companies. Searchmetrics, the U.S. subsidiary of a Berlin-based search optimization company was in discussions with Menlo Park based BrightEdge, one of its primary competitors in the U.S., about an acquisition or merger, but discussions fell apart.

According to Searchmetrics’ chief restructuring officer, confidential, proprietary, competitive information and business practices were released during acquisition discussions, which BrightEdge used to undermine Searchmetrics’ position in the U.S. market.

In business mediation, no conversation is unimportant. Negotiations are consciously entered into in a formal setting and conducted with foresight and clarity. Because the process is completely confidential, conversations can evolve under the supervision of an experienced neutral in complete privacy. Any information about proprietary technology or intellectual property is released when necessary between parties and during private discussions. At Boileau Conflict Solutions we offer negotiation, sometimes known as “deal mediation”, to ensure that deals are negotiated with the utmost care. We can provide consultation and analysis to individual clients before entering into a deal or when ending a transaction or business relationship. We employ careful scientific, mathematical, and legal knowledge; utilize best practices and techniques of negotiation theory; and use both game theory and psychoanalysis to optimize the results you want and need.

Venture-funded companies in particular need to take extra care not to leave themselves vulnerable to disclosures which could affect a burgeoning market share or valuable proprietary technology.

Searchmetrics. as an example, was compelled to resort to an extreme form of damage control: the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to protect itself from the destructive revelations of litigation.

Using business mediation from the outset, technology startups can protect themselves from deals gone bad. Mediation helps to avoid litigation and finds solutions to complex problems that protect and sustain important business relationships. Please contact us today to see how we can help you get the best out of your business negotiations and avoid unnecessary conflict.