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Pulling the Trigger(s): What is Double-Trigger Acceleration and How Does it Work?

How can an acquirer make an employee with single-trigger vesting commit to a "lock-up" period in order to receive their full payout? The way that double-trigger and other vesting acceleration conditions interact with cliffs also varies from one company to another. If the vesting scheme in place for those key members disappears at closing, then the acquirer will generally have to offer a more meaningful retention package to get the key employees to remain with the company post-acquisition. If an unvested option or equity award terminates in connection with a transaction, then technically, there will be no unvested options or awards to accelerate if the second trigger i. One possibility is to provide that in such a scenario the common stockholder forfeits all unvested stock. Neat in Theory, Messy in Practice By: You dismissed this ad.

Double-trigger acceleration refers to the partial or full acceleration of vesting of someone’s options or stock based on the occurrence of two distinct events. Each event is a “trigger” and if both events occur, that constitutes a “double trigger.” Let’s first take a look at “single trigger” acceleration to set the stage.

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December 30, 2008

I explained that a trigger clause forward-vests (or accelerates) some/all of your as-then-unvested options should (1) the company be acquired (Single Trigger); and (2) your employment be terminated (straight fired or Involuntary Termination - look it up here, Double Trigger). Courtesy of Itai Nevo, a partner in DLA Piper’s Boston office, below is an informal survey of current trends regarding single vs. double trigger stock option acceleration from DLA Piper’s Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, DC, Northern and Southern California, Reston, Seattle and Texas offices. What is the difference between single trigger and double trigger acceleration of vesting in connection with a merger, acquisition or othe employee stock options, finance, startups Previous How Equity Should Be Split Between Founders, Employees, and Investors When Bootstrapped.