Earn-outs are a common feature of M&A transactions, but it can be difficult to understand how they work and how to manage them.

Watch the webinar recording below for insights from our expert panel that explain why earn-outs are used, how to account for them, and dispute resolution.

Here's what’s covered:          

  • Why earn-outs are used on transactions and current market trends
  • Accounting aspects of earn-out mechanisms in Sale and Purchase Agreements (SPA)
  • Tax considerations
  • How to account for earn-outs
  • Calculating and determining earn-outs post-deal
  • Resolving earn-out disputes

Key takeaways:

1 Get the underlying principles of the earn-out focusing on alignment agreed and in writing before moving into negotiating the detail

2 Don't leave the negotiation of the earn-out definitions and accounting aspects to the end – one of the key objectives for drafting financial earn-outs is ensuring the actual calculation is prepared on a consistent basis with the earn-out target

3 Earn-outs are sensitive from a tax perspective and the consequences of not engaging with the tax position early on in negotiations can be significant

4 The distinction between consideration and remuneration is typically locked into the SPA, so it's important to consider early if there's a particular accounting outcome in mind

5 From the day after completion, it should be the objective of the buyer to set up processes and procedures to be able to prepare a set of earn-out accounts based on the requirements of the SPA

6 As earn-outs are prone to disputes, it's essential to provide for a robust dispute resolution process in the SPA

For more information or to arrange a meeting get in touch with Patrick O’Brien.

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