Remember Nova? You may recall that that's the outfit that tried to buy my company. We spent much of last year negotiating and for a while there I really thought we had a deal - until one of Nova's board members, a guy named Frank, tried to reopen the talks and put the squeeze on me (here's the column I wrote at the time). I decided to walk away, leaving quite a bit of money on the table. (Not to worry. Things are working out just fine for me and my company, as I'll explain in a future column.) After the deal fell apart, I did some investigating that I probably should have done before the negotiations heated up and learned that this was hardly the first time Nova had pulled something like this. After I wrote this up in my column, I heard from a lot of people who wondered how Nova was going to continue its strategy of buying up companies like mine -- we were supposed to be the platform for their expansion -- now that the world had seen how they operate. Well, the answer is in.
It seems Nova's expansion is over. It's come to my attention that the people at Nova have put their company up for sale. Is it possible that Frank finally found out that when people are selling their companies, they have to trust the buyer? Is it possible that the rift on the Nova board that my deal exposed has gotten worse? I don't know, but I heard rumors that several other deals they had in the works fell through after mine. And I do know that an investment book promoting the sale of Nova was sent out to a small number of prospective buyers. We tried to get a copy, but they wouldn't give it to us. I guess Frank's ego is such that he can't contemplate allowing me to buy his business after I declined to let him buy mine. Hmmm. Could I have had something to do with this turn of events? You know what they say about what goes around ...
Last updated: Dec 7, 2007
Street Smarts columnist and senior contributing editor NORM BRODSKY is a veteran entrepreneur who has founded and grown six businesses. @NormBrodsky