My company is being acquired by a public company (both US based). When we were all hired, our employment contracts stated we'd be granted x number of stock options. I'll say 250,000. That was 3 years ago for me. Also both the company and employee signed these documents.
Now they never actually got around to granting those options to us, setting up a plan, or giving us a strike price. Our contracts only say we'll be given those options nothing about vesting, strike etc.
The acquiring company is buying us for a little less than our investors put in lets say $50M. So the VC's take is that our options are underwater. What's weird is they sent around a letter asking us to give up our rights to the options in return they'd give us $500. They seem "very" intent on getting all of us to sign this document to the point of sending people here to make sure we understand it and should sign it.
My take is that they think there's a liability here or they're trying to squirm their way out of paying us any money based on the sale. It was never written down but we were told the strike price would be less than $0.10 a share and I'm sure they're selling for higher.
So my question is, does anyone out there with more experience have any idea why they'd be so intent on getting us to sign these documents?