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When I was much younger, I worked for a local dot-com startup. As part of our bonuses we received 'stock options' a few times.

Given my state of naivety at the time, I had no idea what they were or how they worked, and did nothing with them.

It's been over two decades now, and something nudged my memory down paths that reminded me of these old options.

I know virtually nothing other than that I was supposed to receive them. I have no idea in what form they were given. I have no paperwork from that time.

But I was curious if there were online resources that would allow me to track them down, and if they might still be accessible and usable after all this time.

The company in question, Print Cafe, was apparently acquired by a company called Electronics for Imaging (EFII) in 2003.

EFII apparently was bought out by Sirus Capital Group in "an all-cash transaction", according to what little information I can find, sometime in 2019.

I believe the options were given out before our IPO in 2001ish, but some may have been before and some after.

Would these old options exist and be worth anything and, if so, how would one go about tracking them down and exercising them?

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    It might be worth reaching out to investor relations or HR at the acquiring company. If you have any documentation or can provide additional information to them, that would be helpful.
    – 0xFEE1DEAD
    Commented Feb 28, 2023 at 15:56
  • Are you still working for the now-parent company?
    – shoover
    Commented Feb 28, 2023 at 18:09
  • @shoover No, I'm not.
    – Nicholas
    Commented Feb 28, 2023 at 18:10

1 Answer 1

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Probably not.

A stock option usually has an expiration date. If you want to convert a stock option into an actual stock (which could indeed still have value), you need to exercise the option before that date. "Exercising a stock option" means that you pay an amount of money stated in the option (which is hopefully lower than the current market price) to convert the stock option into an actual stock. When a stock option is not exercised until the expiration date, it simply becomes worthless. It would be very unusual for a stock option to have an expiration date of over 20 years.

Further, employee stock options often (but not always) come attached with a clause that the options become invalid as soon as the employee leaves the company.

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    I think paragraph 2 is the primary reason they're probably worthless.
    – shoover
    Commented Feb 28, 2023 at 18:09
  • 1
    And Incentive Stock Options also have a "vesting period" -- you have to stay with the company a certain length of time before they become exercisable (that's what they're incentivizing you to do). If they left the original company before this time, the rest is moot.
    – Barmar
    Commented Mar 1, 2023 at 15:56
  • I think you might actually have something like 90 days after termination of employment (even if it's your own choice) but certainly not 20 years.
    – stannius
    Commented Mar 1, 2023 at 19:26

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