Growth Shares

Shares which enable key employees to participate only in the future growth of a business (often expressed as a value hurdle which, once overcome, allows the holders of Growth Shares to share in the proceeds of an Exit Event over that hurdle). As Growth Shares are of limited value when they are issued, it is usually possible to issue them at a low value without triggering unwanted income tax charges. On an Exit Event, the increase in their value should be taxed as capital gain and not at the higher income tax rate.  The value of Growth Shares when issued cannot be agreed in advance with HMRC so care is needed when implementing this type of scheme. Growth Shares are also referred to as Hurdle Shares or Flowering Shares.