When email security company Good Technology sold to BlackBerry for $425 million this past September — well below its last private valuation of $1.1 billion — a lot of employees felt burned, the New York Times reports.
Good Technology filed to go public in May 2014. In September 2014, Good Technology shares were worth $4.32 to equity-holding employees.
But the IPO never happened. When BlackBerry bought the company in September 2015, its lower purchase price plus the preferences exercised by venture capital investors left those same shares valued at $0.44.
Worse yet, some employees had already paid taxes based on that higher value, according to the report.
Adding insult to injury: The same documents that revealed the lower share price also revealed that Good’s board had rejected an $825 million all-cash offer from CA Technologies in March of 2015.
Employees, needless to say, were upset.
“A few nights after the investor document went around, a glass conference room wall at Good’s headquarters was broken, according to an incident report,” says the Times.
It got so bad that then-Good CEO Christy Wyatt actually ended up having to offer counseling services to Good employees.
Then in November 2015, after the deal was done, Wyatt left Good and BlackBerry.
It’s not a great outcome for Good Technologies, which was planning for its own $100 million IPO in 2014, but which never materialised.
In fact, some Good employees, executives, and shareholders are seeking damages from the company’s board, saying that this buyout definitely didn’t have investors’ best interest in mind.