Worst Non-Closing Story of All Time

I can't believe that no one has started a forum for this, so maybe I'm an idiot and just couldn't find it in the search... but I'm looking for the worst non-closing stories. Here's mine:

Been working this deal for about 18 months, 4-5 really hard. Money is in escrow, all that's missing is purchaser's signature and CEO goes dark for 36 hours. Come to find out, he never came home the night before, when he finally arrived home night before to shower, his wife discovered he had been fraternizing with the merger target's CEO's wife.

Yeah - basically we all just lost on a few mil in fees because this guy:

1) Couldn't wait till escrow cleared to 'consummate' the merger and

2) Didn't use a passcode on his iPhone and his wife found out he was screwing the wife of CEO he was trying to merge with). Blew up the marriage, family, and our bonuses.

Anyone top that? Have comparably miserable deals fall apart? There will be a breakup fee paid to the target, but bankers got shanked. Interested to hear others out there.

Comments (25)

Jun 5, 2019 - 2:28pm
NuclearPenguins, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Wow. That is an incredible story.

Worst one for me was had a CEO who got cold feet after we ran 2 separate processes for him. Dude was an absolute psychopath and we ended up getting him a deal that was far above anything he said he initially wanted. Saddest / funniest thing is whenever he contradicted himself or pretended not to know something during negotiations, he would pretend he didn't understand because of the "language barrier." Yeah, dude was foreign but went to one of the Ivies, like come on bro.

Had the audacity a couple years later to ask if we wanted to run a 3rd process for him. That was a hard no.

Most Helpful
Jun 6, 2019 - 2:44am
m_1, what's your opinion? Comment below:

We almost closed on a deal earlier this year after about 10 months of work.

Lender was lined up and had signed off.

QofE and other DD all done, etc...

Then the moron owner went out and nuked her business doing the dumbest thing possible. Literally sliced run rate ebitda by like 70% overnight. (welcome to e-commerce)

This gets better though, she tried sueing us claiming we led her on to collect data etc... Which was obviously horseshit.

I'm an independent sponsor too that decided to eat the 6 figure dead deal fees ourselves rather than try to push the deal through/collect fees/etc as I think a reputation for doing the right thing is worth far more money in the long run. I received emails and even a letter from the equity we had lined up thanking us for doing the right thing and they expressed interest in putting cash into whatever deal we did next.

So yeah...

  1. Wasted 10 months.
  2. Burned 6 figures of our own cash on nothing.
  3. Had some psycho try suing us (it went nowhere but of course I had to pay $$$ legal fees)

Fun fun fun.

At least I got to eat a ton of Texas bbq.

I have no regrets though as her actions were not predictable and I got to learn a lot about how PE works at a granular level etc... (Operator turned investor)

Jun 6, 2019 - 10:52am
TheBuellerBanker, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Is there anything you think you could've done differently which may have prevented the owner from making those brash moves?

Funniest
Jun 6, 2019 - 1:06pm
Dr. Rahma Dikhinmahas, what's your opinion? Comment below:

What kind of an amateur walks from a deal because of an affair. The big leaguers use wife swaps to win deals, not lose them.

https://nypost.com/2014/10/29/investor-husband-pushed-me-into-sex-for-biz-deal-estranged-wife/

Jun 7, 2019 - 5:09pm
la_flameIB, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Stories would be tight

Array
Jun 9, 2019 - 3:36pm
Mr. Hansen, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Also heard that from someone who worked for him. Said he wouldn't be surprised if all that dirty laundry was actually true.

Array
Jun 14, 2019 - 2:13pm
Wertheim-Consulting, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Good point. His wife would have at least appreciated the money.

Degrees
Jun 7, 2019 - 2:00am
csmal, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Wait, so the purchaser pulled out of the deal because he got caught schtooping the target CEO's wife? Would have loved to see the CEO of P try to explain to his board why cutting a massive check to walk away from an awkward situation makes more sense than canning his incorrigible ass.

Jun 7, 2019 - 10:32am
HighlyClevered, what's your opinion? Comment below:

+SB strictly for use of the word schtooping.

  • 2
Jun 7, 2019 - 4:36am
Monkey_Bubbles, what's your opinion? Comment below:

As an analyst at a boutique MM Bank - had a client w/ a decent sized equipment rental business that covered a large geographical area, along with a tech component that basically streamlined logistical efficiency.

Was doing a deal for a ~75M to ~$100M revolving credit facility for the equipment business. The company was pretty much distressed at this point so getting the funding was not easy. We finally get a deal agreed and with 2 days before signing the definitive docs (basically deal closing), I get a damn Google alert saying the equipment assets and real estate of this company have been sold to a larger strategic.

This client was the biggest pain to work with and ended up taking 10+ months of work to get to a close, and the client didn't even tell us he was thinking about selling off all the assets.

On top of that, the EL that was negotiated carved us out of this specific scenario, so we didn't get anything from it.

Potentially the most upset I have been to date.

Jun 9, 2019 - 12:18pm
Aerfally1, what's your opinion? Comment below:
RonMexico69:
I can't believe that no one has started a forum for this, so maybe I'm an idiot and just couldn't find it in the search... but I'm looking for the worst non-closing stories. Here's mine:

Been working this deal for about 18 months, 4-5 really hard. Money is in escrow, all that's missing is purchaser's signature and CEO goes dark for 36 hours. Come to find out, he never came home the night before, when he finally arrived home night before to shower, his wife discovered he had been fraternizing with the merger target's CEO's wife (yeah - basically we all just lost on a few mil in fees because this guy 1.) couldn't wait till escrow cleared to 'consummate' the merger and 2.) didn't use a passcode on his iPhone and his wife found out he was screwing the wife of CEO he was trying to merge with). Blew up the marriage, family, and our bonuses. Anyone top that? Have comparably miserable deals fall apart? There will be a breakup fee paid to the target, but bankers got shanked.

Interested to hear others out there.

I almost spit out my coffee reading this. Priceless story (bonus costs aside), and I'm sorry the deal fell through.

Jun 14, 2019 - 12:41pm
BrokerJoker, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Man, I have had so many of these... Had a deal all ready to go, buyers cash ready and signature on the docs, freshly sent over on Friday evening. To celebrate, the seller (sole shareholder) decided to take their small-toy-shit-box experimental airplane for a spin. The seller flew through a storm, loss control and crashed...

Another one fell through because the target company's managers started posting expletive and offensive commentary of the buyer on twitter before the APA was even negotiated.

I also had a deal fall through because in diligence we found "company condos" were actually condos for the CEOs girlfriends and each girlfriend had a "company car" and were on the payroll. The CEOs wife found this out and, as a 50% owner in the company, decided not to sell and sue her husband instead...

My list can go on.

Jun 14, 2019 - 2:02pm
Wertheim-Consulting, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Facere quibusdam et natus vel voluptatem perferendis. Saepe voluptas voluptas illo sint. Accusamus id harum corporis hic id impedit illo. Quaerat nesciunt id commodi nulla dolore. Quaerat beatae est deserunt qui quaerat suscipit.

Ipsum totam enim aspernatur tempore eos dolorum corrupti. Dolorum porro quia rerum. Laboriosam tempore sit soluta voluptates. Velit unde vero et excepturi saepe. Consequatur cum ullam praesentium eius velit.

Officia accusamus consequuntur rem veritatis ipsam. Minima repudiandae ipsa in at.

Est fugiat vel odit recusandae. Ut asperiores voluptatem praesentium aperiam ex omnis corrupti. Sit consequuntur recusandae quisquam.

Degrees
Aug 15, 2021 - 11:26am
RecvrngBnkr, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Occaecati nihil impedit sit voluptatem aut. Illo eum illo qui amet. Rerum reprehenderit consequatur molestiae placeat similique id. Facere libero ab id adipisci ducimus. Dolor architecto minus iste fuga eum. Qui voluptatem veritatis sit vel incidunt sint ut.

Start Discussion

Career Advancement Opportunities

June 2022 Investment Banking

  • Jefferies & Company (▲03) 99.6%
  • Lincoln International (= =) 99.2%
  • RBC Capital Markets (▲07) 98.8%
  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch (▲01) 98.4%
  • Houlihan Lokey (▲06) 98.0%

Overall Employee Satisfaction

June 2022 Investment Banking

  • Jefferies & Company (▲12) 99.6%
  • Lincoln International (▲05) 99.2%
  • Greenhill (▲07) 98.8%
  • Rothschild (= =) 98.3%
  • Evercore (= =) 97.9%

Professional Growth Opportunities

June 2022 Investment Banking

  • Jefferies & Company (▲04) 99.6%
  • Lincoln International (▲04) 99.2%
  • RBC Capital Markets (▲09) 98.8%
  • Houlihan Lokey (▲07) 98.4%
  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch (▲04) 98.0%

Total Avg Compensation

June 2022 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (9) $661
  • Vice President (37) $394
  • Associates (189) $246
  • 2nd Year Analyst (115) $162
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (17) $156
  • 1st Year Analyst (367) $150
  • Intern/Summer Associate (77) $148
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (288) $91