Critical

Critical by Robin Cook Read Free Book Online

Book: Critical by Robin Cook Read Free Book Online
Authors: Robin Cook
your help, we have survived. We’ve limped along, withholding payment to our suppliers until it was critical. We’re continuing to do that, but still, it might not be enough. Bob, tell everyone how much capital we would need to get us through the IPO.”
    â€œI’d be very confident with two hundred thousand dollars,” Bob said. “As the amount drops to zero, so does my confidence.”
    â€œTwo hundred thousand,” Angela repeated with a sigh. “Unfortunately, that’s a lot of money, and I’m fresh out of ideas. What it comes down to is whether any of you smart people have any suggestions. From your perspective, the main problem, of course, is that all of you will have to meet payroll, and with a negative cash flow continuing, that is getting more and more difficult unless we help you. The trouble is, all our cash accounts are drawn down.”
    â€œWhat about withholding paying taxes?” Stewart suggested. “It’s just two weeks.”
    â€œBad idea,” Bob said with hesitation. “Payroll tax and withholding tax are paid by wire transfer. If any of you or we hold it up, the bank will know, because we would have to instruct them to do so. Instructing the bank to not pay taxes would be an enormous red flag.”
    â€œWhat about going back to our lead angel investor?” Niesha suggested.
    â€œI’m going to try tomorrow,” Angela said. “I’m not optimistic. Our placement agent, who found the angel investor initially, has already squeezed out a quarter of a million a month ago, and at the time led me to believe that well was dry. Yet I’m still going to try.”
    â€œWhat about a bridge loan from the bank?” Stewart said. “They know about the IPO. Hell, it will only be two weeks. With the interest we’ve been paying on our loans, they’ve been making a fortune from us.”
    â€œYou are forgetting what I said at the outset,” Bob said. “I got a call Friday from our healthcare relationship manager at the bank. He was disturbed that we’d drawn down on facility by selling the bonds to pay our stent provider. They are not all that happy with us at the moment. If he called even part of our loan, the game would be over.”
    Angela looked from one person to another at that point. Everybody was looking down at their feet through the glass table. “All right,” she said, when it was apparent no one had any other ideas. “I’m off to the bank and then our placement agent tomorrow. I’ll do my best. If anyone has any additional ideas, I’ll have my cell phone at all times. Thank you all for coming.”
    There was a scraping sound as all the chairs save for Angela’s were pushed back on their Teflon-tipped legs. Everyone filed out, with most giving Angela’s shoulder a reassuring squeeze in the process. For a few moments she stayed where she was, staring out at the gilded conical roof of the Crown Building across the street, while thinking about her company’s predicament. It didn’t seem fair that after all her work and anxiety, she and her nascent Angels Healthcare empire might be brought down by some lowly bacteria. At the same time, she wasn’t surprised. In the financial world, whether it involved manufacturing lightbulbs or delivering healthcare, fairness was at best an afterthought. Money was king, and she’d learned that lesson the hard way, vainly trying to keep afloat her primary-care practice, which saw more than its share of Medicaid patients. It was that wrenching experience of bankruptcy more than anything else that had driven her to business school, where she had excelled as a kind of revenge and where she came to realize that medical care, if approached correctly, could make one not just financially comfortable but truly rich.
    With a renewed sense of resolve, Angela pushed back her own chair and stood up. She retrieved her coat and umbrella

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