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Caution necessary when considering a merger or acquisition

Mergers and acquisitions often enable Texas companies to thrive. Sometimes the transaction benefits both entities, but a decision maker at a company needs to evaluate multiple angles when approached with an acquisition offer. The due diligence process could identify good opportunities or reveal red flags that make the deal a poor direction for a company to take.

To avoid wasting time, an acquisition target should first judge the seriousness of a proposal. Any propositions that come from parties that do not involve high-level executives will likely go nowhere. A company's leadership should also identify the motivations behind any offer. The other company might simply want to eliminate a competitor or gain control of a product but ultimately fire the people working at the acquired company. An acquisition might only be a tactic for beefing up a company's value prior to an IPO.

Hot merger market expected in 2019

Many business owners in Texas are looking to expand their enterprises and their profits through mergers and acquisitions with other companies. In the third quarter of 2018, domestic mergers and acquisitions increased by over 30 percent. These transactions reached a total of $1.67 trillion throughout the year, the highest recorded value on record. Some financial experts expect that 2019 could see even more activity for business transactions.

Some noted that there is a high level of available liquidity, giving businesses access to the capital that they need to buy another company. While firms may use extra capital to repurchase shares or pay down debt, many find more opportunities for growth through pursuing acquisitions. Tax laws have changed to benefit corporations, another factor leading some companies to merge with other firms. While rising interest rates could affect some enthusiasm for buying another business, especially when financing is involved, experts expect to see continued high interest in acquisitions.

Franchisees file lawsuit against parent company

Those who choose to buy franchises in Texas and other states generally do so to take advantage of the brand exposure it provides. However, a lawsuit against Jack in the Box filed in Los Angeles claims that the company's CEO lacks a vision for the brand. The suit was filed by the National Jack in the Box Franchisee Association, and it claims that this lack of vision is causing the company to lose market share.

The lawsuit also says that franchisees were not paid for roof repairs that were conducted on corporate-owned stores. These stores were later sold to franchisees, and the full costs of these repairs were supposed to be covered by the company's Incentive Program. Ultimately, these costs were reclassified as remodeling costs. The suit claims that this was done in an effort to shortchange franchise owners.

How to protect your business in divorce: The circumstances matter

If you go through the divorce process, you can expect it to alter your personal life in a number of ways. For example, it may change the way you raise your children. Just the same, it can impact your finances.

As a business owner, it's important to understand the impact divorce can have on your company. If you're not careful about the steps you take, you could put your business at risk.

What to expect when becoming an estate executor

Those in Texas who are named estate executors or administrators might wonder what their duties are. An executor is responsible for paying taxes and debts, identifying assets and distributing those assets to beneficiaries. There may be other duties as well. The tasks can be daunting, but an executor is permitted to work with an attorney or other professionals if necessary.

One way to manage the responsibility is strong communication while the person who owns the estate is still alive. This includes knowing where legal documents and other important paperwork is located, having contact information for professionals associated with the estate, and knowing what is actually in the estate plan. Depending upon the age of the person, this could mean a years- or decades-long conversation about finances and the estate.

Contract dispute between HBO and Dish escalates

Dish Network subscribers in Texas hoping for a quick restoration of HBO channels may have to keep waiting. Subscribers first experienced a blackout of service at the beginning of November when signals were dropped for HBO and its related channels. Since then, the negotiations have become increasingly tense and unproductive. Dish claims the telecommunications company that now owns HBO is using the popular cable channel as a "weapon" because they also own a competing satellite TV service.

The head of Dish Network has accused HBO's parent company of anti-competitive behavior, stating that customers wishing to get the premium channel back will be forced to sign up for service from the satellite provider that company owns. While contract disputes of this nature rarely get to the point where service is disrupted, HBO contends it was Dish that opted to drop signals at midnight on the last day that the previous contract was still in effect.

Supplier sues Dick's Sporting Goods for breach of contract

Dick's Sporting Goods, a national retail chain with outlets in Texas, is the target of a new federal lawsuit filed by Battle Born Munitions Inc. The munitions company claims in court filings that Dick's failed to accept orders of custom branded goods and meet payment deadlines. The delays allegedly violated the supply contract and cost Battle Born Munitions millions of dollars.

The contract at the heart of the dispute stated that Battle Born Munitions would customize large quantities of ammunition with Dick's brand name and packaging. The retail chain agreed to accept delivery of the custom goods by November 16, 2016. The plaintiff goes on to accuse the retailer of fraud because the company allegedly knew when it executed the contract that it would not meet deadlines.

Stages of mergers and acquisitions

Companies in Texas can use mergers and acquisitions to improve their shareholder value and generate long-term profits. However, executing mergers and acquisitions entail navigating complex agreements and deals that that can cause organizational difficulties. In order to overcome these challenges and generate value, it will be necessary for the integration of the two companies to be executed in a manner that generates organizational efficiencies and eases the way for business to be conducted with trading partners. In order to ensure success, companies that are taking part in mergers and acquisitions often consult with merger and acquisition professionals or with technology partners who have specific experience with these types of business transactions.

There are four stages in the merger and acquisition process, including due diligence, agreement, integration and the attainment of value. Even though the process can be broken down into these four stages, it is very important for companies to realize that each phase has its own opportunities and difficulties, even as all four stages are interconnected.

Woman ordered to pay back over $1 million in probate case

Many people in Texas expect to inherit money from their families at some point. In Milwaukee, a family sued in probate court over a $1.6 million inheritance that had been left to the financial adviser of a deceased millionaire. The family was awarded most of the inheritance in a settlement, leaving the financial adviser with only about $150,000, enough to cover her court costs and attorney fees.

The man died at age 92 of dementia. He developed a friendship with his financial adviser during his final years and had little contact with relatives. She soon became his power of attorney and the sole beneficiary of two annuities and executor and sole beneficiary of his estate.

Benefits of a prenuptial agreement: Take these into consideration

As an engaged couple, you have many big decisions to make about the future. While you focus a good portion of your time on your upcoming wedding, you should look past that. When doing so, you may come to realize that a prenuptial agreement is in your best interest.

Even though you may understand the benefits of a prenuptial agreement, it doesn't mean your soon to be spouse has the same knowledge and feelings. In fact, this person may look down on a prenuptial agreement, thus putting you in a difficult spot.

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