Last Exit to Brooklyn
We sold L2, the firm I founded in 2010, today to Gartner (NYSE: IT). The transaction is, undeniably, a good / great thing for the employees and shareholders of L2 and should / will be a win for Gartner. Some thoughts four hours post-closing.
Deals are hard to get done. Really. Fucking. Hard. We had substantial interest from several suitors, yet closing the deal felt similar to landing an F-15, low on fuel, on an aircraft carrier, at night, in stormy seas. My job was to get the plane on the flat top (close the deal) while others kept the carrier (business) moving, and the plane kept getting waved off. Deal people (high-priced bankers, lawyers, private equity) are rich for a reason, as it takes skills, perseverance, and an iron stomach. I haven’t felt this stressed since the financial crisis. This was a better flavor of stress — fear of something great not happening — whereas the stress I felt in 2008 was just fear. But still, stress.