Hoping a good idea - think there's many quick strategic wins to gain to help optimise value. Need to ensure all's aligned - we're good guys, so like to be up front about what we're doing. Hoping that therefore sharing where we're at is a good thing and think they'd be motivated - they're likely to get between $400K-$800KUSD each. Any other thoughts? Thanks!
You will need to weigh the situation.
If it were my company, we have a Core Value of "Truth", and we have an expectation of open communication with each other and with our clients. Therefore, if it was me, by running this through our values it would be a no brainer to tell people not just what was going on with me personally but also the decision to sell the company.
The other stuff about it being good for them and they'll make out on the deal - you don't have any control over how they'll feel about it. They may feel cheated, betrayed, or they may feel ecstatic. You can't know, and it's not up to you to decide for them. However, you can give them the information so they can make the choice.
Or, if you are a company where communication is lacking, transparency is not a value, and you honestly don't care what they think, then don't bother.
(Since you said you're keen to tell them though, I'd go with your gut.)
I've played a large role in 3 exits and found that transparency has always been the best policy. I would make sure you spend individual time with each exec to make sure they are completely comfortable.
In one of my exits we let the whole company of 40 people know very early on that we were taking the company to market. We set up a incentive plan to ensure everyone was aligned and working towards growing value.
At smaller companies the team will pick up on acquisitions very quickly: asking your team to answer prepare certain reports, answering due diligence questions, strange visitors, etc. It is better for you to control the narrative then let the rumor mill spin out of control.