Buy-Sell Agreements: Ticking Time Bombs or Reasonable Resolutions?

BY KIM NILSEN

by Z. Christopher Mercer, ASA, CFA
Peabody Publishing LP, 2007, 324 pp.

Predicting the future is practically impossible. For businesses, that uncertainty makes planning crucial. Z. Christopher Mercer offers a granular look at one method of applying present tense solutions to future decisions and transitions. Mercer examines the world of buy-sell agreements, which establish a mechanism for the purchase of equity interests following the death of one of the owners of an entity or some other major or adverse change in a business environment.

Mercer writes from the perspective of a businessman and business appraiser. He is the founder and CEO of Mercer Capital, a business valuation and investment banking firm based in Memphis, Tenn.

He advises readers not to expect a how-to guide to drafting buy-sell agreements. But readers will find plenty of detail on the finer points of the appropriate use of valuation expertise when weighing such agreements from both business and valuation perspectives.

The book’s intended audience includes CPAs, attorneys, business owners, CFOs, fiduciaries of business owners, insurance professionals and corporate directors.

Mercer rounds out the book with a chapter showcasing war stories and potential pitfalls. He also shares his firm’s checklist for a forward-looking buy-sell audit.

SPONSORED REPORT

Get your clients ready for tax season

These year-end tax planning strategies address recent tax law changes enacted to help taxpayers deal with the pandemic, such as tax credits for sick leave and family leave and new rules for retirement plan distributions, as well as techniques for putting your clients in the best possible tax position.

RESOURCES

Keeping you informed and prepared amid the coronavirus crisis

We’re gathering the latest news stories along with relevant columns, tips, podcasts, and videos on this page, along with curated items from our archives to help with uncertainty and disruption.