HRC CASE STUDY
Cloud9 Realtime Acquisition by Abacus Data Systems
Cloud9 Realtime (“C9”) was seeking to explore their strategic options, as the main shareholder and operator had transitioned himself out of the day-to-day, and was seeking diversification of his net worth. C9 had been approached by a potential acquirer which seemed to make strategic sense.
C9 was seeking support in moving forward with a transaction, either with the incumbent party, or with another buyer. C9 recognized while it’s possible to do on their own, they felt it was worthwhile to bring on an experienced advisor to guide them through the process, who also focuses in their respective vertical, with a deep network of acquirers and investors.
C9 engaged HRC to explore their strategic objectives, which immediately thereafter, HRC picked up the discussions with the incumbent acquirer, only to realize this party wasn’t willing to proceed with a market transaction structure. HRC and C9 decided to put such discussions on hold and test the market for a more compelling valuation and deal structure. HRC created comprehensive marketing materials highlighting the company’s operational and financial capabilities, and went to market, reaching out on a no-name basis, sharing an outline of the opportunity, to the investors and buyers in its network, which fit on the surface strategically
After running such process and speaking to several parties, HRC secured a much more compelling offer from a party which had more synergies due to the competitive nature of the businesses, however C9 still felt more interested in working out a deal with the incumbent, thus we reverted back with such news of a better “market” offer, and the incumbent obliged by matching their offer to the new offer. C9 signed a term sheet and went into exclusivity with the incumbent. HRC closely advised C9 through due diligence and the various complexities and nuances, en route to the closing. Having HRC proved valuable on multiple fronts, tangibly by increasing the existing acquisition offer, and thus comfortably paying for the success fees.
HRC CASE STUDY
RookMedia Acquisition of DomainSponsor
RookMedia (“Rook”), a Swiss-based company was seeking to acquire it’s largest competitor, DomainSponsor (“DS”), to create the leader in the domain name monetization space.
Rook was seeking support and guidance on how to best acquire DS from a valuation and structural perspective, as well as how and where to raise the capital from. Rook engaged Harbor Ridge Capital (“HRC”) to advise on the transaction and fundraising; Also important to note, HRC founder had previously completed a transaction in the same space, thus fully understanding the business and value drivers.
After running financial analysis on what kind of capital was likely available from the debt markets for the acquisition, HRC firmed up the acquisition valuation and deal structure, which proved highly accretive to the acquirer. A term sheet was signed, and HRC began its fundraising process for what was expected to be a challenging process, given a Swiss company would be acquiring a US company, and we were seeking a US-based investor. Also, Rook was quite a bit smaller than DS, and in an internet marketing industry which is relatively volatile, not conducive to institutional investors. However, the combined businesses had tremendous expected revenue and profit synergies, creating a highly compelling acquisition story, and ideal financing opportunity, yet the positioning and material preparation was critical in the presentation. This included illustrating detail around the combination, and specifically, the near term expected cash flow, along with the Pro-forma cash flow from synergies, used by lenders. This detailed merger model contained many answers to the lender’s questions and essentially tied up the opportunity for their review.
After a thorough outreach to a wide pool of target alternative lenders (unitranche and mezzanine), HRC identified a handful highly interested in the opportunity. A term sheet was signed with two different lenders, one senior and one junior. The acquisition closed where the acquirer expanded their business by 4x, and only took on minimal dilution creating significant shareholder value.