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Term Sheet Essay

1848 words - 8 pages

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风险投资协议(Term Sheet)详解之一:清算优先权
情景一:假如你是第一次创业,你正在寻找风险投资(VC),在经过跟风险投资人漫长的商业计划演示和交流之后,突然有一天,投资人对你的公司产生了投资兴趣,于是给你出了一份所谓“投资协议条款清单”(Term Sheet)。但是,包括你的团队、你的董事会、你周围的朋友在内,都没有人曾经看到过一份Term Sheet,里面的某个“清算优先权”条款是这样写的(通常是英文):
Series A Preferred shall be entitled to receive in preference to the holders of the Common Stock a per share amount equal to 2x the Original Purchase Price…
A系列优先股有权优先于普通股股东每股获得初始购买价格2倍的回报…
你完全搞不懂这是什么意思。
情景二:假如你接受了上面那份Term Sheet,投资人跟你投资了$2M,给你的投资前估值(Pre-money valuation)是$3M,投资后(Post-money)估值$5M,于是投资人拥有你公司40%的股份。经过1年,公司运营不是很好,被人以$5M的价格并购。你认为你手上60%的股份可以分得$2.5M的现金,也还满意。但是投资人突然告诉你,根据协议,他要拿走$4M(投资额的2倍),留给你的只有$1M。你又糊涂了。
什么是清算优先权(Liquidation Preference)?
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参与权:在支付给A系列优先股股东清算优先权回报之后,剩余资产由普通股股东与A系列优先股股东按相当于转换后股份比例进行分配。
退出回报如下图所示:
[pic]
当公司退出价值低于优先清算回报时,投资人拿走全部清算资金。超过优先清算回报部分,投资人和普通股股东按股权比例分配。
(3)附上限参与分配优先清算权(Capped-participating liquidation preference)
附上限参与分配权表示优先股按比例参与分配剩余清算资金,直到获得特定回报上限。在优先权条款后会附加以下条款:
Participation: After the payment of the Liquidation Preference to the holders of the Series A Preferred, the remaining assets shall be distributed ratably to the holders of the Common Stock and the Series A Preferred on a common equivalent basis; provided that the holders of Series A Preferred will stop participating once they have received a total liquidation amount per share equal to [X] times the Original Purchase Price, plus any declared but unpaid dividends. Thereafter, the remaining assets shall be distributed ratably to the holders of the Common Stock.
参与权:在支付给A系列优先股股东清算优先权回报之后,剩余资产由普通股股东与A系列优先股股东按相当于转换后股份比例进行分配;但A系列优先股股东将停止参与分配,一旦其获得的回报达到[x]倍于原始购买价格以及宣布但尚未发放的股利。之后,剩余的资产将由普通股股东按比例分配。
退出回报如下图所示:
[pic]
(1)当公司退出价值低于优先清算回报时,投资人拿走全部清算资金;
(2)当公司退出价值按投资人股份比例分配的数额高于回报上限时,投资人将优先股转换成普通股,跟普通股股东按比例分配;
(3)当公司退出价值介于两者之间时,投资人先拿走优先清算回报,然后按转换后股份比例跟普通股股东分配剩余清算资金,直到获得回报上限。
这里一个有意思的问题是原始购买价格倍数([X])的真实含义。如果参与分配倍数是3(3X)(3倍的初始购买价格),表示一旦获得300%的初始购买价格的回报(包括优先清算的回报),优先股股东将停止参与分配剩余资产。如果清算优先权是1倍(1X)回报的话,参与分配权的回报不是额外的3倍,而是额外的2倍!也许是因为参与权跟优先权的这种关系,清算优先权条款通常同时包含优先权和参与分配权的内容。
清算优先权激活:清算事件(Liquidation Event)
谈清算优先权,那明确什么是“清算”事件就很重要。通常,企业家认为清算事件是一件“坏”事,比如破产或倒闭。对VC而言,清算就是“资产变现事件”,即股东出让公司权益而获得资金,包括合并、被收购、或公司控制权变更。结果是,清算优先权条款决定无论公司在好坏情况下,资金的分配方式。标准条款如下:
A merger, acquisition, sale of voting control or sale of substantially all of the assets of the Company in which the shareholders of the Company do not own a majority of the outstanding shares of the surviving corporation shall be deemed to be a liquidation.
公司合并、被收购、出售控股股权、以及出售主要资产,从而导致公司现有股东在占有续存公司已发行股份的比例不高于50%,以上事件可以被视为清算。
所以这个条款是确定在任何非IPO退出时的资金分配(IPO之前,优先股要自动转换成普通股,清算优先权问题就不存在了),而大部分的公司最后可能的退出方式也不会是IPO,所以不管创业者对自己和公司是否有信心,都应该详细了解这个条款。
清算优先权背后的逻辑
很多VC采用有参与权优先股,一方面是因为他们基金的出资人-有限合伙人(Limited Partner, LP)也是这样向他们收取回报的。VC的普通合伙人(General Partner, GP)向LP募集资金,成立一个基金(Fund),LP出资(GP也可能会出1%),GP运营,到基金存续期结束清算的时候,LP拿走出资额外及基金盈利的80%,GP获得盈利的20%。比如:一个$100M的VC基金,LP实际上是借给VC公司$100M,LP需要拿回他们的$100M,外加80%的利润。
另外一方面,为了避免创业者从投资人那里不当获利,让VC基金蒙受损失。比如:你从投资人那里获得$10M投资,出让50%股份。然后在VC的资金到账后立刻关闭公司(没有其它资产),那投资人只有得到企业价值($10M)的50%,这样你就从投资人那里欺骗到$5M。要是真的这样,以后你的基金就很难募到资金了。为了避免出现这种情况,也因为投资人一贯的贪婪本质,他们会要求最少1倍(1X)的清算优先权,这样在公司发展到退出价值超过投资人的投资额之前,你是不会关闭公司的。
创业者如何理解清算优先权
(1)优先股是债权(Liability)还是权益(Equity)
优先股是企业的债权或是权益,参与分配权的优先股既是债权也是权益。“优先权”表示债权,“参与分配权”表示权益;
参与分配的优先股股东,不需要决定是拿走优先清算额,还是转换成普通股按比例参与分配,他们两者都要。根据上文不同情形下的退出分配图,仔细分析就会发现,参与分配的优先股只有在退出价值较小时才合理,以保护投资人的利益。如果公司运营非常好,投资人不应该按照优先清算的方式参与分配,他们会转换成普通股。
(2)投资人与创业者存在退出利益不一致
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