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I Take It Back!

When a merger goes awry and you want to buy your company back, there are plenty of ways to do it.

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This story appears in the March 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Today, Richard Warner's Web design business, What's Up Interactive, is a phoenix rising from the ashes. Burned by a disastrous merger, Atlanta-based What's Up was nearly destroyed.

In early 2000, at the height of Internet mania, Warner, now 47, was living the dream. His $2 million, 20-person firm had outgrown his basement (and his bedroom, kitchen and den), and he had buyout offers from three different companies. He chose carefully, then struck a deal with a Nasdaq-listed media conglomerate.

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