YEARLY ARCHIVES
  • Learning A-Z Acquires Headsprout Instructional Software Unit from Skyview Capital

    TUCSON, Ariz., Dec. 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Skyview Capital LLC today announced that it has completed the sale of Headsprout®, developers of the MimioReading™ classroom suite, to Learning A-Z, a Cambium Learning® Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: ABCD) company. Skyview Capital acquired the online curriculum programs as part of its acquisition of Mimio, a global leader in interactive teaching technologies, in July 2013.

    Founded in 1999 and based in Seattle, WA, Mimio acquired Headsprout in 2011, which has patented and award-winning adaptive software titles, including MimioReading™ and MimioSprout™ Early Reading. The MimioReading software suite’s advanced design uses both individualized, adaptive reading instruction and whole-group reading lessons for interactive whiteboards to improve reading performance. Research-based, the software has earned industry-wide respect for its effort in improving reading skills for students in grades PreK-8. Currently used in thousands of classrooms, learning labs, and homes, Headsprout will become part of Learning A-Z’s larger reading offering and marketed and sold as Headsprout Early Reading and Headsprout Reading Comprehension.

    Bob Holl, president and co-founder of Learning A-Z, says of the acquisition, “Headsprout is an ideal addition to our family of blended learning solutions. Their track record of efficacy includes a wealth of case studies, all of which are a testament to their quality. Our award-winning Reading Solution, which includes Reading A-Z and Raz-Kids, provides online resources for assessment, instruction, and practice. Now, with the inclusion of proven, student-facing phonics and comprehension resources from Headsprout, Learning A-Z is an even more complete reading solution for teachers to differentiate instruction and support student achievement.”

    About Skyview Capital LLC

    Skyview Capital LLC is a private investment firm headquartered in Los Angeles, CA, which specializes in the acquisition and management of “mission critical” enterprises in the areas of technology, telecommunications, business services and niche manufacturing. By leveraging its operational capabilities and financial acumen, Skyview systematically enhances the long-term sustainable value of the businesses it acquires. To date, Skyview has successfully completed nearly 20 transactions within its target market verticals and was recently recognized by Los Angeles Business Journal as one of the top 25 Los Angeles-based private equity firms.

    About Learning A-Z

    Learning A-Z is a preK-6 educational resource company specializing in online delivery of leveled readers and supplementary curriculum. Founded in 2002 to help teachers differentiate instruction and meet the unique needs of all students, Learning A-Z’s resources are currently used in more than half of the districts in the US/Canada and 165+ countries worldwide. Serving a wide range of student needs, including ELL/ESL, intervention, special education, and daily instruction, Learning A-Z includes: Reading A-Z, Raz-Kids, Science A-Z,Vocabulary A-Z, and Writing A-Z.

    About Cambium Learning Group, Inc.

    Cambium Learning® Group is a leading educational solutions and services company that is committed to helping all students reach their full potential by providing evidence-based solutions and expert professional services to empower educators and raise the achievement levels of all students. Cambium Learning Group is composed of four business units: Voyager/Sopris Learning (www.voyagerlearning.com | www.soprislearning.com); Learning A-Z (www.learninga-z.com); ExploreLearning®(www.explorelearning.com); and Kurzweil Educational Systems®(www.kurzweiledu.com) and IntelliTools® (www.intellitools.com). Together, these business units provide best-in-class intervention and supplemental instructional materials; gold-standard professional development and school-improvement services; breakthrough technology solutions for online learning and professional support; valid and reliable assessments; and proven materials to support a positive and safe school environment. For more information, visit www.cambiumlearning.com.

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  • Skyview Article in AIRA Journal on Private Equity Deal Sourcing

    Friday, November 02.

    An Introduction to Private Equity Deal Sourcing

    In private equity, deal flow is the lifeblood of each firm. It is crucial to bring a stream of interesting deals into the firm. There are two types of deal leads: proprietary and non-proprietary auctions. Buyout professionals greatly prefer the proprietary, non-auctions deals. These proprietary deals, since they are not structured auction processes, have less competition, which can allow for more favorable purchase price and terms.

    You can think of deal sourcing like any sales channel. It is funnel of unqualified leads turning to qualified leads, turning to active discussions, turning to NDA, turning to Letters of Intent, turning to executed transactions. At each stage, only a percentage of deals make it to the next stage. Therefore, if you start with 100 unqualified leads it may only turn into one completed transaction. Since it is a numbers game, it is crucial to generate and efficiently process as many deals as possible. Firms have diverse approaches to deal sourcing; some have huge in-house teams of deal-sourcing specialists; at some firms all deal professionals are responsible for deal sourcing and executions.

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  • Newell to Divest Hardware Biz

    Zacks Equity Research
    Monday, August 12.

    Going ahead with its ‘Growth Game Plan’, Newell Rubbermaid Inc. announced the sale of its hardware business to Nova Capital, an expert buyer of corporate and private equity portfolios for $214 million, including accounts receivable.

    The after-tax proceeds are likely to be around $175 million. The transaction (subject to customary conditions) is likely to close in the third calendar quarter of 2013. Newell Rubbermaid appointed Rothschild as the financial advisor in this business deal.

    The hardware business comprises four brands, namely Amerock, Ashland, Bulldog and Shur-Line, which together are expected to generate revenue of approximately $255 million for 2013.

    In May 2013, Newell Rubbermaid had declared that it was looking for prospective buyers to offload its Hardware and Teach Platform businesses. According to the company, these businesses were not in line with its ‘Growth Game Plan’ strategy as announced in Oct 2012. Under the particular strategy, the company intends to eliminate approximately 10% of the workforce, build a new organizational model as well as leadership team.

    In Jul 2013, Newell Rubbermaid sold out its Teach Platform business to a Beverly Hills, Calif. based private equity firm, Skyview Capital, LLC. Newell’s Teach Platform business includes the Mimio and Headsprout interactive teaching technology brands. The company has not disclosed the terms of the deal.

    We believe that the recently concluded transaction will enable Newell Rubbermaid to build an organized portfolio in the existing five fundamental business segments, namely Home Solutions, Writing, Tools, Commercial Products and Baby & Parenting. Consequently, it will provide ample prospects to grow through innovation, brand augmentation and by garnering opportunities in emerging economies.

    We believe that the overall growth plan will help Newell Rubbermaid to reduce the complexities of the organization, boost efficiencies in customer services and sourcing functions as well as increase investments in the core business areas. The long-term growth plan, which is expected to be fully implemented by the end of second-quarter fiscal 2015, will save approximately $180–$225 million annually.

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  • Skyview Capital Builds Portfolio to Enable Telecom and Software Growth

    Rachel Ramsey – TMCnet
    Wednesday, August 7.

    “Companies are looking to grow through acquisition as demand slows for wireless and Internet services, and they’re seeking scale so they can afford to build the high-speed networks necessary for the latest mobile and video offerings,” a recent Bloomberg article said.

    Skyview Capital, a privately held investment firm that specializes in the acquisition and continuous management of mission-critical enterprises, has built an expertise in carve-out transactions, particularly in the telecom and software sectors, and is actively looking for additional businesses to invest in.

    This year, Skyview has definitely kept itself busy. In July it acquired the Mimio online education business from Newell Rubbermaid, which offers interactive teaching technologies to increase effectiveness and engagement in K–12 classrooms. It also acquired Interact Inc. earlier this year, a provider of interactive voices response (IVR) platforms and hosted IVR systems to help improve global communications, and the Tekelec Mobile Messaging business.

    Alex Soltani, chairman of Skyview Capital, said, “Skyview Capital has built up a strong reputation, performing carve out and buyout transactions. We have a team of operating professionals, who work with the management teams to stabilize and grow the acquired businesses.”

    In addition to 2013’s acquisitions, Skyview’s current and previous portfolio includes Aserdiv, Collins Communications, Fastech Integrated Solutions, NewNet Communication Technologies, Ixilix, Solvport, PAS Technologies and Transcend Communications. Skyview was recently honored by The Los Angeles Business Journal as one of the Top-25 LA-based private equity firms.

    “At Skyview, we strive to create long-term sustainable value within the enterprises we acquire, by providing them the highest level of financial resources and operational acumen necessary to realize and achieve their full business potential. Our investment principles are driven strictly by growth – organic growth, growth through acquisition, and specifically growth through our partnerships with talented executives,” Soltani said.

    Link to Article

    About Skyview Capital LLC

    Skyview Capital LLC is a private investment firm headquartered in Los Angeles, California, which specializes in the acquisition and management of “mission critical” enterprises in the areas of technology, telecommunications, business services and niche manufacturing. By leveraging its operational capabilities and financial acumen, Skyview systematically enhances the long‐term sustainable value of the businesses it acquires.

    To date, Skyview has successfully completed nearly 20 transactions within its target market verticals and was recently recognized by Los Angeles Business Journal as one of the top 25 Los Angeles‐based private equity firms.

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  • NewNet Communications’ Traxcom Products Ensure Security in Transaction Processes

    Rachel Ramsey – TMCnet
    Monday, July 22.

    The proliferation of mobile devices has led to improved app development, features and capabilities. Think about how many different things you can accomplish from your smartphone or tablet alone – using GPS, sharing via social media, checking e-mail and making banking transactions or purchasing something online are not impossible feats. In fact, a recent U.S. Federal Reserve study found nearly 21 percent of mobile phone users have used mobile banking in the past year, and a Juniper Research (News – Alert) report predicts mobile commerce transactions to exceed $3.2 trillion by 2017. The rise in payment transactions means mobile device and network providers need to be prepared to offer high levels of security, safety and data confidentiality.

    NewNet (News – Alert) Communications, a provider of solutions for next-generation mobile, fixed line networks, messaging and transaction processing, offers Traxcom secure transaction processing solutions to provide a high degree of security to ensure data confidentiality and safety, and improve the efficiency of operations.

    TMC recently caught up with NewNet’s T.K. Cheung, SVP and GM of Secure Transaction Processing Division, to discuss the solutions, how they help set NewNet apart in the industry from competitors, what prompted NewNet to offer PCI (News – Alert) compliance with Traxcom and what’s in store for NewNet in the future.

    The Traxcom solutions have facilitated secure, high-speed payments transaction aggregation from millions of POS/ATM/payment terminals and switching and routing of these transactions with high security to backend Financial Authorization Servers for more than 24 years. They target a variety of customers, including transaction acquirers, payment processors, banks, retailers, financial institutions, payment service providers, payment aggregators, transaction network service providers, fixed and mobile telecommunication network providers, Independent Sales Organizations (ISOs). “We deliver secure payment transaction routing services for the legacy Dial POS terminals, now popular broadband and mobile payment terminals and fast emerging mobile smart POS and NFC Mobile Wallet transactions,” Cheung explained.

    The Traxcom product portfolio includes the Total Control Secure Transaction Gateway (STG) Dial Payment processing system, which delivers a specialized suite that enables fast transaction processing of credit card authorizations, debit card fund transfers and health benefit authorizations, and AccessGuard 1000 Mobile and Broadband IP Payment Processing gateways, which are designed to process high volumes of IP-based authorization and payment queries generated from a “smart card” terminal device, and internet based payment terminal devices. “Speed, security, stability and system availability are the key requirements of payment transaction systems and these hold the key parameters of NewNet Traxcom products as proven in the industry with our deployments with Tier 1 Acquirers, Processors, Wireline Carriers, MNOs (Mobile Network Operators) etc.,” said Cheung. “Security is the most critical aspect of payment transactions and having been in this business and working with some of the largest Tier 1 Acquirers, processor and carriers globally, we have remained in the forefront of offering most advance security for payment routing solutions with latest cryptographic methodologies.”

    “NewNet’s Secure Transactions Business Unit provides mission-critical solutions to allow carriers and financial institutions to securely process electronic payment Transactions globally. As new point of sale (POS) payment platforms arise, there will be increased opportunities for NewNet’s Secure Transactions products and services. We are seeing traction domestically as these new digital payment platforms proliferate and as acquirers and ISOs seek innovative, customer-focused suppliers. We also see enormous growth in demand in emerging markets, which are experiencing rapid increases in credit card penetration and volumes,” said Matt Thompson, SVP corporate development, NewNet Communication Technologies. NewNet has integrated transaction processing, security handling, load balancing and network routing into a single system, thereby enabling customers to avoid the need for separate systems for each of the different functions.

    “Our systems enable the customers to offer new payment solutions on emerging client/terminal devices by still connecting to existing authorization servers, thus bridging the future with present day systems,” said Cheung.

     

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    About Skyview Capital LLC

    Skyview Capital LLC is a private investment firm headquartered in Los Angeles, California, which specializes in the acquisition and management of “mission critical” enterprises in the areas of technology, telecommunications, business services and niche manufacturing. By leveraging its operational capabilities and financial acumen, Skyview systematically enhances the long‐term sustainable value of the businesses it acquires.

    To date, Skyview has successfully completed nearly 20 transactions within its target market verticals and was recently recognized by Los Angeles Business Journal as one of the top 25 Los Angeles‐based private equity firms.

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  • Skyview Capital Makes Platform Acquisition of Mimio Interactive Learning Business from Newell Rubbermaid

    Monday, July 15.

    Los Angeles, CA – July 15, 2013 – Skyview Capital LLC today announced that it has completed the acquisition of the Mimio© and Headsprout© interactive technology businesses from Newell Rubbermaid (NYSE:NWL).

    Founded in 1997 and headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., Mimio is a global leader in interactive teaching technologies offering innovative, affordable educational technologies and curriculum solutions to increase effectiveness and engagement in K–12 classrooms.

    Alex Soltani, chairman of Skyview Capital LLC, says of the transaction, “We are very excited about adding Mimio to the Skyview portfolio. We see tremendous potential in both the education technology and curriculum segments. Mimio has cutting-edge technologies to enhance the learning experience for students around the world.”

    Mimio’s General Manager, Manny Perez, stated, “Skyview has a deep understanding of and experience in the technology industry and sees the value Mimio has to offer. The firm has a proven track record of helping companies increase in value, and we are confident that the Mimio business will benefit from this expertise as we continue to fulfill our mission of offering innovative and relevant instructional technologies.”

    Mimio’s technologies include the recently launched MimioMobile™ app and its MimioStudio™ classroom software. These two new programs give teachers the ability to create truly collaborative learning environments using mobile devices in their classrooms. The MimioSprout™ and Mimio Reading™ online instructional reading programs provide schools and homes broad and effective lessons to teach reading to students in pre–K through eighth grade. The complete MimioClassroom™ suite of interactive technologies and instructional software are used in more than 600,000 classrooms worldwide.

    The transaction has closed; terms were not made public.

    About Skyview Capital LLC

    Skyview Capital LLC is a private investment firm headquartered in Los Angeles, California, which specializes in the acquisition and management of “mission critical” enterprises in the areas of technology, telecommunications, business services and niche manufacturing. By leveraging its operational capabilities and financial acumen, Skyview systematically enhances the long‐term sustainable value of the businesses it acquires.

    To date, Skyview has successfully completed nearly 20 transactions within its target market verticals and was recently recognized by Los Angeles Business Journal as one of the top 25 Los Angeles‐based private equity firms.

     

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  • Newell Rubbermaid Announces Sale of Teach Platform to Skyview Capital LLC

    Monday, July 15.

    Atlanta – (BUSINESS WIRE) – Newell Rubbermaid Inc. (NYSE: NWL) today announced the sale of its Teach platform, including the Mimio® and Headsprout® interactive teaching technology brands, to Skyview Capital, LLC (www.skyviewcapital.com), a Beverly Hills, Calif., private equity firm. Terms were not disclosed. The transaction has closed with the signing of the agreement.

    “Our Growth Game Plan is designed to accelerate performance by setting clear priorities for our business. This transaction further simplifies our portfolio as we continue to invest behind our highest-potential global growth opportunities,” said Michael Polk, Newell Rubbermaid’s President and Chief Executive Officer.

    About Newell Rubbermaid

    Newell Rubbermaid Inc., an S&P 500 company, is a global marketer of consumer and commercial products with 2012 sales of approximately $5.6 billion and a strong portfolio of leading brands, including Sharpie®, Paper Mate®, Rubbermaid Commercial Products®, Irwin®, Lenox®, Parker®, Waterman®, Rubbermaid®, Levolor®, Calphalon®, Goody®, Graco®, Aprica® and Dymo®. As part of the company’s Growth Game Plan, Newell Rubbermaid is making sharper portfolio choices and investing in new marketing and innovation to accelerate performance.

    This press release and additional information about Newell Rubbermaid are available on the company’s website.

    Newell Rubbermaid Press Release

    Newell Rubbermaid Q2 Earnings Report

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  • News From the Association of Insolvency & Restructuring Advisors

    Private Equity Operations Groups

    There has been a significant rise in the number of portfolio operations groups in private equity over recent years. Private Equity boomed in the 1980’s and primarily relied on the use of financial engineering in leveraged buyouts to achieve the high returns that defined that era. As more leveraged buyout shops emerged, the competition for deals increased and returns subsided. In addition, in the post-credit crisis world it has been more challenging to obtain credit, and private equity funds have had to write larger equity checks than before which has also negatively impacted private equity returns.

     

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  • Private Equity Operations Groups

    Wednesday, July 3.

    News from the Association of Insolvency & Restructuring Advisors

    There has been a significant rise in the number of portfolio operations groups in private equity over recent years. Private Equity boomed in the 1980’s and primarily relied on the use of financial engineering in leveraged buyouts to achieve the high returns that defined that era. As more leveraged buyout shops emerged, the competition for deals increased and returns subsided. In addition, in the post-credit crisis world it has been more challenging to obtain credit, and private equity funds have had to write larger equity checks than before which has also negatively impacted private equity returns.

     

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  • Skyview listed as one of the top 25 LA-based private equity firms by Los Angeles Business Journal

    LA Business Journal ranks Skyview Capital in the top 25 LA-based private equity firms this year.

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  • Skyview Capital Completes the Acquisition of Interact Inc.

    Arlington Heights, IL- NewNet Communication Technologies, LLC, a wholly-owned Portfolio Company of Skyview Capital, and a global leader in mobility technologies with a primary focus in messaging, signaling, wireless broadband, consumer
    internet, multimedia content delivery, mobile advertising, and secure transactions announced today its completion of the Interact Inc. acquisition.

    Interact Inc.’s high performance, hosted or customer premise installed Interactive Voice Response (IVR) solutions and their realtime charging and rating engine improve global communications in over 30 countries worldwide, reaching over 80 million end users. Interact’s products coupled with NewNet’s TraxcomSecure and
    Mobile Messaging technologies expand its product portfolio. Nimblevox, Interact’s Cloud Communications solution allows companies to bring voice and SMS applications to market in a shorter timeframe, without writing a single line of code. Nimblevox enables
    operators to develop cutting-edge communication applications that are hosted in the cloud or installed at the customer premises. Interact’s Invigorate product provides a real-time convergent rating and charging solution, allowing mobile operators to introduce innovative services and creative charging campaigns. NewNet’s CEO, PJ Louis, said: “We are excited to add the Interact Incorporated solutions to our NewNet product portfolio.” Louis continued, “Interact’s assets are an excellent fit for NewNet, and we believe this transaction will deliver significant business growth for our organization.”

    “Interact and NewNet’s customers are the true winners of this acquisition,” said Lynn McKee, the previous CEO of Interact Inc. “The combination of our two organizations’ product portfolios deliver technologies that make business processes happen.”

    “Together, both Interact and NewNet’s proven track records in the industry ensure our customers receive world class products and unparalleled support services, enabling them to bring new and innovative solutions to market in a timely manner,” said Greg Gissler, Founder of Interact Inc.”

    “Today’s signing announcement marks a new, important chapter in our company,” said Alex Soltani, Chairman of NewNet, and Chairman and CEO of Skyview Capital. “This is a highly strategic transaction, allowing NewNet to broaden its product offering to its blue-chip telecom carrier clients. It provides NewNet with cross-selling opportunities, engineering talent, and innovative intellectual property. It is Skyview’s first deal to close in 2013 and facilitates NewNet’s continued growth.”

    About Skyview Capital, LLC

    Skyview Capital, LLC, is a private investment firm headquartered in Beverly Hills, California, which specializes in the acquisition and management of “mission critical” enterprises in the areas of technology, telecommunications, business services, and niche manufacturing. By leveraging its operational capabilities and financial acumen, Skyview systematically enhances the long–term sustainable value of the businesses it acquires.

    To date, Skyview has successfully completed nearly 20 transactions within its target market verticals.

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