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You're in a tough spot. If you cannot absolutely wait out the process of the potential purchase of the company then you can say "I am starting a company. I may want you to come work for me. I can't contact you if I break relations with the company, but you are free to seek me out"?
you can also ask an hypothetical "would you be interested to work for another company, doing the same job you are currently doing, but with better (describe what would be better)?"
How long do you expect the uncertainty to continue?
also keep in mind that even if you breach the NDA to enforce your promises under that agreement it is would be typically expensive for that company as a plaintiff to go to court and litigate. So of course you do not want to alienate them but at the same time recognize the legal realities of such agreements and their limitations.
In conclusion, you are trying to do the right and prudent thing but don't sweat too much as realistically to enforce their rights under the NDA they would first have to retain an attorney and that generally is am expensive proposition
Thank you for allowing me to assist you
Negotiations have been going on since October. The owner already backed out of an agreement to sell, stating he has a better counter offer. The agreement is in force until may 8th which allows me to recruit the employees. He did not reject the agreement in writing because he doesnt want to breach it so it is technically still valid and allows me to recruit. My attorney sai d "feel free to poach away", but even when I press him he refuses to tell me what I can say.
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