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News & Insights

All Unicorn Shareholders Are Not Treated Alike

I have been frustrated by the false equivalency of public market valuations calculations applied to the last preferred stock financing of a private company. Here is my attempt to make a simple, understandable explanation of why the last private financing doesn't mean all shareholders own something worth the same as the implied valuation ballyhooed in the news.

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Realizing Value in the U.S. International Development Market

Led by the Defense segment, the market of companies that primarily provide services to the federal government is consolidating. This article addresses how to value a company that operates in the International Development/USAID market segment, the state of that market segment, and how to consider realizing value for owners and shareholders through creative transactions.

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Middle Market Investment Update- Wireless Infrastructure Service Providers

The focus of this report is primarily on the wireless telecommunications infrastructure sector. The wireless carriers continue to experience massive demand for data capacity on their networks. This demand is driven by the explosive growth for mobile broadband services (i.e. smartphone, tablet and other devices, etc.) with an estimate of over 225 million active devices in service today.

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Chessiecap Securities advises Haiku Learning on its sale to PowerSchool

Chessiecap Securities, Inc. (“Chessiecap”) is pleased to announce that it served as the exclusive financial advisor to Haiku Learning, Inc. (“Haiku”) in its sale to PowerSchool Group LLC (“PowerSchool”). Founded in 2006, Haiku is a leading cloud-based learning platform developed exclusively for K-12 users with nearly 3 million users worldwide. The Haiku learning platform is widely lauded for its intuitive...

Chimes International’s Board of Directors Elects Douglas M. Schmidt As Chairperson

Chimes International, Ltd., a leading provider of services and supports to people with disabilities, today announced that Douglas M. Schmidt has been elected as the Chairperson of the organization’s Board of Directors. Mr. Schmidt is succeeding Patrick Bagley, a board member for more than 10 years and chair of the Chimes International Board of Directors for the past 6 years....

Chessiecap Securities advises ClassLink, Inc. in its sale of its ClassMate student information system business to N. Harris Computer, an operating group of Constellation Software Inc.

Chessiecap Securities, Inc. (“Chessiecap”) announced that it advised ClassLink, Inc. (“ClassLink”) on the sale of its ClassMate student information system business to Harris School Solutions, Inc. (“Harris”). Terms of the transaction were not announced.

ClassMate is a specialized student information system designed specifically to meet the student data needs of non-traditional students. Founded in 1996 and focused on the...

Raising Significant Capital

Chessiecap Securities is pleased to announce a significant new capability for our clients: access to a rapidly evolving market of debt and equity capital from non-traditional funds. Over the past year, we have been developing this capability in conjunction with a highly regarded institutional research, sales and trading organization.

If you or your portfolio company will be looking for $10...

Chessiecap Securities, Inc. and The Washington Corporation Announce Strategic Merger

Chessiecap Securities, Inc. and The Washington Corporation today announced the combination of their two firms, creating a leading middle market investment banking firm headquartered in the Mid-Atlantic region. The combination provides both firms with a stronger platform to offer clients the highest level of investment banking services. In addition to establishing a critical mass of senior bankers, the...

ESOP Revival?

In recent months, we have fielded inquiries and assisted in evaluating and developing ESOPs (Employee Stock Ownership Plans) for companies that provide services to the federal government. ESOPs are front and center as a result of a slowdown in M&A activity in the government services industry, particularly for private company sellers. There are a few segments of the government market...

The Seven Deadly Sins of Entrepreneurs (And How to Fix Them)

It's an age-old and true maxim that great entrepreneurs usually don’t make it to the executive suite at IBM, GE, HP, or Exxon. Big companies love the upside – the passion, the long hours, the breakthrough thinking, the ability to inspire others, and the knack for getting lots done with few resources. For big companies, however, each element of upside...

Are Fairness Opinions…Fair?

Commonly used to justify transactions, fairness opinions have come under heavy regulatory and public scrutiny. Investment banks often issue supposedly "objective" opinions when there are substantial potential conflicts of interest that could have affected their objectivity. In some cases, the bank was actually advising the company on the transaction and had a large success fee at stake. Quite often, a...

Business Plans That Drive Transactions

Most companies view business planning as a necessary evil. Senior executives would rather be building new technology or talking to customers. For early and growth stage companies, the goal of business planning is to obtain funding to start or expand the business. For more mature companies, the main goal is usually to drive either an acquisition by a larger player...

Thinking the Unthinkable: Government Contracting & Bankruptcy

Occasionally there is an industry cycle that lasts so long investors cannot see when they have crested the hill, or, even worse, they think the good times will never end. In the 1990s, during the creation of the Tech Bubble, private equity disdained companies that conducted business with the federal government. These government contractors (or, pejoratively labeled ”Beltway...