One way to ruin a good deal.

September 27, 2009

A number of years ago, I was in exploring buying businesses in New Mexico and beyond.  My connection in most of these efforts was through business brokers.  In one process the following happened:  The business owner invited me, a prospective buyer, to meet with him.  An offer to purchase had been signed by both parties and we were in the due diligence period.  The broker was not to be at the meeting, for no particular reason or so I thought.  Upon arriving at the meeting the owner and his attorney were both there putting me in a very difficult position.   Usually proper communications are owner to owner, attorney to attorney but not owner & attorney to owner, especially cutting the broker out.  It felt like I was being hustled.  (Yes,  in the business sense.)  Fortunately, my sense was to keep my mouth closed and excuse myself as soon as possible.  I backed out of the transaction.  Now, some years later the business has yet to sell.

What uncomfortable business situations have you been in?  Was I wrong to not declare immediately that it was improper and leave?

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