In Greek mythology, Zeus‘ wedding gift to Pandora, a heavenly beautiful and wise woman, was a large jar made of clay (box). Containing all the evil in world, this jar was ment never to be opened. However, after some time curiosity got the better of Pandora and she opened it. And so, everything sinful started to spread around the world. As the saying goes when she was finally able to close it, only ‘hope’ was held back in the jar. Today “opening Pandora’s box” usually means that an irreparable harm has occurred.
In companies with several shareholders, it can be that they have different ideas on the sales of their company shares. While one shareholder wants to sell all of his shares and get out of the business, another one might say that he will not sell ‘his child’. Buying the other one’s shares is a logical option but not always realizable.
Generally, that is when Pandora’s box is opened. Then the behaviour of shareholders towards each other changes and what had been naturally accepted before, becomes subject for argument. When such disputes arise, the company gets most of the demage. The discord between the shareholders could also be passed on to the employees and problems might be encountered in the decision making process.
Once the box is opened, it is very hard to close it again. One of the solutions is to find a new partner or a buyer. It is not unusual to observe that those shareholders, who were averse to selling their shares in the beginning, decide to sell them too, when a potential partner/buyer makes an atractive proposal.
If you are wandering about what has happened to ‘hope’… It’s still in the jar.