Drag along or bring along

A drag along provision (sometimes called bring along) creates an obligation on all shareholders of the company to sell their shares to a potential purchaser if a certain percentage of the shareholders (or of a specific class of shareholders) vote to sell to that purchaser. Often in early rounds drag along rights can only be enforced with the consent of those holding at least a majority of the shares held by investors. These rights can be useful in the context of a sale where potential purchasers will want to acquire 100% of the shares of the company in order to avoid having responsibilities to minority shareholders after the acquisition. Many jurisdictions provide for such a process, usually when a third party has acquired at least 90% of the shares (sometimes referred to as a squeeze out), but the legal process is usually subject to possible court review.

Venture capital investors may require that certain exceptions are included in drag along provisions for situations when they cannot be obligated to sell their shares. Among these are drag along sales where the investors will not receive cash or marketable securities in return for their shares or will be required to provide to the purchaser representations and warranties concerning the company (or indemnify those given by the company or the founders) or covenants (such as non-compete and non-solicitation of employees).

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Howard Palmer

Howard is a partner in the corporate technology group.

Angus Miln

Angus is a partner in the corporate technology group.