• September 10, 2013

If your company sells big expensive customized products like helicopters or health insurance plans for Fortune 100 companies, I predict that your sales force does not go door-to-door.  And I predict that sales people are not allowed to “put together a deal and sign it up” over a few beers.

Taking it even further, I predict that there is tension in your company where the sales people want to move forward, get deals done, but, from the sales folks’ point of view and probably others at the company, too, there is an excruciatingly slow process of creating deal proposals, getting them approved by all the right people, getting quotes, and getting deals done.

This is where FPX (“fired by Firepond”) comes in, a Texas/Minnesota-based business that sells a system aimed at streamlining the sales process of complex customized products.  Sounds like a great idea but the business has clearly had its ups and downs.

Snippets from Dietz v. Spangenberg, et al.:

AFG owns 100% of TechDev, which owns 99.5% of FP Tech, which in turn owns 100% of FPX….senior secured convertible notes…secured subordinated notes (“Bridge Notes”)…restructured its secured debt…covenant to meet a minimum Consolidated EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization) of negative $121,174…Collateral Security Agreement…“Let me know how I can help. Whether this turns into a heated process or a gentler approach, making lemonade out of lemons is the stuff I love…” “It is always more fun when you kick the shit out of a ‘unified group’ than a group of banditos who are not unified.”

So, here’s the question:  did reading that collection of snippets whet your appetite and/or cause your pulse to accelerate?  Have you clicked through to U.S. District Court Judge Ann D. Montgomery’s 53-page opinion and are you now feasting on these extraordinarily complex machinations and the overwhelming task of disentangling them, applying bankruptcy law to them, to determine whether maneuvers have unlawfully enriched insiders at the expense of creditors or, to the contrary, whether certain creditors are just sore losers who are fighting to avoid the losses, the risks, that they knowingly accepted?

Me neither.

Vive la difference.  Kudos and props to these scrappy and intrepid colleagues of the Minnesota bankruptcy bar.

Post-script:  if we embrace the idea, as I do, that all of our jobs shape our identities, our values, our outlooks, our realities, what does it do to these lawyers who spend their working lives navigating complicated financial mazes with gritty floors of greed and intrigue?

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