Cherry Tree Advises Regent Education on its Investment from Attain Capital Partners

Cherry Tree Advises Regent Education on its Investment from Attain Capital Partners

Cherry Tree Advises Regent Education on its Investment from Attain Capital Partners

Regent Education Announces Investment from Attain Capital Partners to Accelerate Growth and Innovation

FREDERICK, Md. , June 8, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Regent Education, the leading provider of Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions that automate and simplify the financial aid process for higher education institutions offering traditional and nontraditional enrollment models, today announced a significant growth equity investment led by Attain Capital Partners, with participation from Regent’s current lead investors Chrysalis Ventures, CNF Investments LLC, and New Markets Venture Partners. The company also announced that Greg Baroni, Founder and Managing Partner of Attain Capital Partners, will serve as Chair of the Regent Education Board of Directors.

Attain Capital Partners is a private equity firm which invests in expansion and growth-stage companies with innovative, technology-enabled solutions. A tech entrepreneur himself, Baroni helped launch a distributed learning group known as Blackboard—now part of Anthology—that became a first-mover and an industry leader. He has led a diverse portfolio of successful businesses throughout his career, including KPMG Consulting, Unisys, and more recently, Attain, LLC, selling the company’s federal business division in 2021. He also is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Attain Partners and Attain Sports and Entertainment.

“When it comes to financial aid software, there is none better than Regent. Their comprehensive, cloud-based solution enables institutions to improve business operations and mitigate compliance risks—all while improving the student experience, which is so essential to expanding access to an affordable post-secondary education,” said Baroni. “We look forward to collaborating with the Regent team as we grow the company and continue to simplify the most complex financial aid scenarios for our clients and the students they serve,” he continued.

“Attain Capital brings a rich understanding of higher education, and their guidance and investment provides considerable support to assisting Regent’s continued growth, scale, and financial aid product innovation,” said Jim Hermens, CEO of Regent Education. “Together, we look forward to accelerating Regent’s forward-leaning solutions for the education industry,” he said.

About Regent Education

Regent Education is the leading provider of Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions that automate and simplify the financial aid process for higher education institutions offering traditional and nontraditional enrollment models. Regent’s solutions encompass the automation of financial aid management, verification processes, student financial planning, and state financial aid applications. These solutions offer institutions an unprecedented ability to automate the financial aid process to increase efficiency, mitigate compliance risks, expand enrollment, improve the student experience, and enhance financial management and financial aid lifecycle visibility. Since its inception, Regent has packaged and delivered $5 billion in financial aid to more than 250,000 students. For more information, visit https://regenteducation.com/.

About Attain Capital Partners

Attain Capital Partners invests in growth-stage companies in the knowledge economy. We seek to partner with firms delivering high-value, technology-enabled solutions and services to businesses predominantly focused on serving the public sector markets, including education, government, healthcare, and nonprofits. Our mission is simple: Truly empower teams while building lasting partnerships that make an enduring, positive impact to improve humankind. For more information, please visit www.attain.capital

About New Markets Venture Partners

New Markets Venture Partners is a leading impact investor that accelerates growth-stage education and workforce technology companies.  The New Markets team has decades of experience supporting evidence-based, high growth companies that improve economic and social mobility by leveraging deep relationships with centers of education and workforce innovation.  New Markets prides itself on adding value to its portfolio companies before, during, and after the investment process, with the ultimate goal of improving both individual outcomes and the productivity of America’s education workforce system.  For more information, visit https://newmarketsvp.com/.

About Chrysalis Ventures

Chrysalis Ventures partners with management teams across mid-America to build businesses with enduring value through technology and active collaboration. Chrysalis Ventures manages more than $400 million and has invested in more than 70 companies during its 25-year history.  Chrysalis Ventures partners with talented management teams by providing the business intelligence, market knowledge, deep resources, technological expertise, and financial discipline that are critical to success.  Chrysalis takes a direct, straightforward approach in its work and relationships, challenging itself and its management teams to exceed expectations and deliver superior results. 

Contact
Regent Education
Diane Eves, Marketing Director
(301) 662-5592 or marketing@regenteducation.com

SOURCE Regent Education

 

Minneapolis based Cherry Tree & Associates served as the investment banking advisor to Regent Education on this transaction.

Cherry Tree & Associates provides investment banking services through our FINRA-licensed broker dealer.

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SIPC

Cherry Tree Advises Aperture Education on its Sale to Riverside Insights, A Portfolio Company of Alpine Investors

Cherry Tree Advises Aperture Education on its Sale to Riverside Insights, A Portfolio Company of Alpine Investors

Aperture Education

Cherry Tree Advises Aperture Education on its Sale to Riverside Insights, A Portfolio Company of Alpine Investors

“After going through a careful selection process, we chose Cherry Tree based on their extensive experience working with edtech companies, their focus on our goals and objectives, and their appreciation for our values and commitment to all stakeholders. We were not disappointed! They provided the context and advice we needed to help us navigate many attractive options along the way, negotiated strongly and effectively on the issues that mattered most to us, and their team worked long hours to ensure our team was always prepared and that the necessary information was provided and correct.”

—Jessica Adamson, CEO, Aperture Education

INDUSTRY:
K-12 Education; Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

DESCRIPTION:
SaaS provider of research-based social and emotional learning (SEL) assessments to K-12 schools

LOCATION:
Fort Mill, SC

TRANSACTION TYPE:
Sale to PE-Backed Strategic Buyer

Transaction Overview

In June 2022, Aperture Education, the leading provider of research-based social and emotional learning (SEL) assessments for K-12 schools, announced that it had been acquired by Riverside Insights, a leading developer of research-based assessments and analytics. With more than 65 years of combined research and SEL experience, Aperture sets the standard for research-based SEL assessment solutions as it’s DESSA assessment system (based on the CASELTM framework) provides an in-depth, comprehensive view of student social and emotional skills and is entirely strength-based. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The addition of Aperture’s SEL solutions to the Riverside portfolio of research-based ability and achievement assessments will help K-12 educators obtain the most valid, reliable and comprehensive view of each learner. The combined companies have a synergistic goal of enriching one billion lives globally by 2030.

“Riverside and Aperture have very similar company cultures. We share an entrepreneurial energy and have fixed our eyes on future growth,” said Jessica Adamson, CEO at Aperture Education. “With our research-roots, we believe the right insights empower educators to better serve students, and together, we believe we can more effectively reach educators to scale our impact.”

“With Riverside’s strong research tradition blended with Aperture’s SEL product expertise and vision, we are excited to continue our commitment to creating insights to understand the whole learner. Together, we believe that through our assessments, we can make a greater impact in the lives of students and educators” said Rajib Roy, CEO of Riverside Insights.

Cherry Tree’s Role:

Cherry Tree was engaged to advise Aperture Education, its board of directors and its shareholders in identifying the best partner to help the Company achieve its next phase of growth, while maximizing shareholder value. The Cherry Tree team advised Aperture in a process that included both strategic entities as well as growth-oriented investors, where its role included preparing evaluation materials, effectively communicating this compelling investment opportunity to potential investors and buyers, engaging with a wide range of qualified parties, soliciting proposals and negotiating attractive terms, and supporting the management team through the diligence process and finalizing the definitive agreements.

About Aperture Education:

Aperture Education has empowered over 6,500 schools and out-of-school time programs across North America to measure, strengthen, and support social and emotional competence in K-12 youth and educators. The Aperture System includes the DESSA suite of strength-based assessments, CASEL™-aligned intervention strategies, and robust reporting, all in one easy-to-use digital platform. This system enables education leaders to make strategic, data-based decisions about SEL within their organizations. Aperture has supported more than one million students in their social and emotional growth and continues to develop innovative solutions to bring the whole child into focus. To learn more, visit www.ApertureEd.com.

About Riverside Insights:

Riverside Insights, one of the nation’s leading and most long-standing developers of research-based assessments, is led by a powerful mission: to provide insights that help elevate potential and enrich the lives of students, clinical patients, employees, and organizations globally. For more information, visit http://www.RiversideInsights.com.

About Alpine Investors:

Alpine Investors is a people-driven private equity firm that is committed to building enduring companies by working with, learning from, and developing exceptional people. Alpine specializes in investments in companies in the software and services industries. Its PeopleFirst strategy includes a talent program that allows Alpine to bring leadership to situations where additional or new management is needed post-transaction. Alpine is currently investing out of its $2.25 billion eighth fund. For more information, please visit http://www.alpineinvestors.com.

About Cherry Tree & Associates

Cherry Tree & Associates is a private investment banking firm headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Founded in 1980, it specializes in M&A transactions for both buyers and sellers of middle market companies.  Additionally, it conducts private placements for high quality, entrepreneurially managed growth companies, provides strategic advisory services for CEOs and boards of directors, and prepares fairness opinions and other valuation services.

Cherry Tree & Associates provides investment banking services through our FINRA-licensed broker dealer.

DISCLOSURES
FINRA
SIPC

Cherry Tree Advises CIM Technology Solutions on its Sale to AVI Systems

Cherry Tree Advises CIM Technology Solutions on its Sale to AVI Systems

CIM Audio Visual / CCS Presentation Systems

Cherry Tree Advises CIM Audio Visual / CCS Presentation Systems on its Sale to AVI Systems

“The Cherry Tree team led a disciplined and competitive process that resulted in a great outcome for our Company, employees and customers. Cherry Tree was very involved in each step of the process providing the advice and counsel we needed as well as project managing the sale through closing.”

—Dale Gayman, CEO / Owner of CIM Audio Visual

INDUSTRIES:
Education, Technology
DESCRIPTION:  
Full-Service Audiovisual Systems Provider Serving the Education and Corporate Markets in Indiana and Kentucky
LOCATION: 
Columbus, IN
TRANSACTION TYPE:
Sale to Strategic Buyer

Transaction Overview

In May 2022, AVI Systems announced it acquired CIM Audio Visual / CCS Presentation Systems – Indiana, a full-service audiovisual systems provider serving the education and corporate markets based in Columbus, Indiana. All CIM employees (35) were invited to transition to AVI, joining the company and its 750-plus employee-owners. Dale Gayman, CIM CEO and David Theile, CIM CFO are continuing in leadership roles. With this acquisition, AVI will have nearly 800 employees working from locations in 25 cities in the United States.

“This acquisition immediately expands AVI’s capabilities in the education marketplace,” said Jeff Stoebner, CEO of AVI Systems. “CIM was part of CCS Presentation Systems, the sixth-largest AV systems integrator in the U.S., and has served the K-12 and higher ed markets for decades creating a solid footing on the growing technology needs of educators. When combined, AVI’s global reach and strength in service, coupled with the expertise CIM has developed, will be a winning combination.”

“Joining AVI Systems presents many opportunities for both companies,” said Dale Gayman. “The AV industry is rapidly changing how educators reach students and we have a solid foundation in this space. Meanwhile, AVI has the infrastructure and ability to serve organizations throughout the United States. As a single entity, we’ll help make AVI a powerhouse in the education market.”

Cherry Tree’s Role:

Cherry Tree was engaged to assist CIM Audio Visual and its shareholders in identifying the best partner to help the Company achieve its next phase of growth through a sale of the business. Cherry Tree’s role included preparing evaluation materials, introductions and discussions with numerous potential partners, soliciting proposals, negotiating terms of the purchase agreement, supporting due diligence, and facilitating the closing of a transaction. It was especially important to the shareholders and management team that the process was well planned and efficiently executed, to not disrupt the core business operations, and to complete the transaction in a timely manner.

About CIM Audio Visual:

CIM Audio Visual designs custom AV solutions to meet the needs of companies, school districts, and classrooms. Since 1983, the company has grown to specialize in interactive technology, cloud-based conferencing, and high-quality audio-visual products to improve efficiency, increase collaboration, and enhance presentations. For more information, visit www.ccsavpro.com.
 

About AVI Systems:

Organizations that value the power of visual communications trust AVI Systems to enable people and teams to communicate their critical ideas. As the largest global audio-visual service provider, AVI solutions are used to accelerate decision making, improve human interactions and create immersive digital experiences. For more information about AVI Systems, visit www.avisystems.com.

Cherry Tree & Associates provides investment banking services through our FINRA-licensed broker dealer.

DISCLOSURES
FINRA
SIPC

Cherry Tree Advises InHarvest on its Sale to Riviana Foods

Cherry Tree Advises InHarvest on its Sale to Riviana Foods

InHarvest

Cherry Tree Advises InHarvest, a Duininck Company, on its Sale to Riviana Foods

“We engaged Cherry Tree after being approached by a strategic buyer who expressed interest in acquiring InHarvest, a Duininck Company. Cherry Tree had served as our advisors several years ago on an acquisition for InHarvest.
 
The Cherry Tree team led the efforts to negotiate a Letter of Intent with Riviana, coordinated and managed the due diligence process and managed the overall process of negotiating and completing the necessary legal agreements for closing the sale of InHarvest and the related real estate.
 
Cherry Tree’s experience and involvement in managing and driving the process through closing resulted in a great outcome for the shareholders of InHarvest.”

—Trevor Duininck, CEO Duininck Companies

INDUSTRY:
Food Manufacturer, Consumer
DESCRIPTION:
Producer and procurer of premium specialty rice, quinoa, and grains for the foodservice, industrial, and retail sectors
LOCATION:
Colusa, CA & Woodland, CA
TRANSACTION TYPE:
Sale to Riviana Foods Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ebro Foods, S.A. (BME:EBRO)

Transaction Overview

Riviana Foods, North America’s largest processor, marketer and distributer of branded and private label rice products, acquired the assets of InHarvest, a leading producer of premium specialty rice, quinoa and grains for the foodservice, industrial, and retail sectors, for $48.75 million.

The acquisition expands Riviana’s operations and geographic footprint into California and includes two production facilities in Colusa and Woodland strategically located in the rice-growing area of the Western United States. In addition, with InHarvest’s focus on the foodservice, ingredients/industrial and retail/private label sectors, the purchase complements and enhances Riviana’s current business in those segments.

“The acquisition of the InHarvest business is an excellent fit and consistent with our strategic plan to expand our position in the specialty value-added rice, quinoa and grains markets,” said Enrique Zaragoza, President & CEO of Riviana. “We are excited about this expansion as we also look forward to welcoming InHarvest’s employees to the Riviana team.”

Cherry Tree’s Role:

Cherry Tree was engaged to advise InHarvest and its shareholders as they considered an unsolicited bid from a strategic party seeking to acquire the business. The objectives were to maximize shareholder value and terms of a transaction, while managing an efficient closing process. The Cherry Tree team advised the shareholders throughout the entire process, which included soliciting the LOI bid and negotiating terms, supporting the Company in the confirmatory due diligence process, negotiating terms of the purchase agreement and managing the overall process of closing the transaction.

About InHarvest, Inc.:

With two facilities in California, InHarvest is the foremost U.S. producer and procurer of some of the world’s most distinctive varieties of grains, beans, legumes and blends for the foodservice, industrial and retail sectors. The company’s dedication to discovering and promoting lesser-known, heirloom grains and seeds is deep-rooted in its over 40-year heritage of providing inspiration and solutions to an evolving food industry. For more information, visit www.InHarvest.com.
 

About Riviana Foods Inc.:

Riviana Foods Inc. is North America’s largest processor, marketer and distributor of branded and private label rice products through its family of well-known brands including Minute®, Mahatma®, Success®, Carolina®, Comet®, Adolphus®, Blue Ribbon®, RiceSelect®, Gourmet House® and Tilda®. Riviana also processes, markets and distributes fresh pasta through the brand Olivieri®. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Riviana is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ebro Foods, S.A., a leading Spanish food company and the world leader in the rice sector. For more information, visit www.riviana.com.
 

About Cherry Tree & Associates

Cherry Tree & Associates is a private investment banking firm headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Founded in 1980, it specializes in M&A transactions for both buyers and sellers of middle market companies. Additionally, it conducts private placements for attractive, entrepreneurially managed growth companies, provides strategic advisory services to CEOs and boards of directors, and prepares fairness opinions and other valuation services.

Cherry Tree & Associates provides investment banking services through our FINRA-licensed broker dealer.

DISCLOSURES
FINRA
SIPC

Cherry Tree Advises Vantage Financial on its Sale to Peoples Bancorp

Cherry Tree Advises Vantage Financial on its Sale to Peoples Bancorp

Vantage Financial

Cherry Tree Advises Vantage Financial on its Sale to Peoples Bancorp

“Cherry Tree was absolutely the right choice. We wanted an investment bank who not only had the experience to guide us through a transaction and effectively highlight the most valuable aspects of our business, but also a firm that shared our values and would help us find the right partner for our customers, our employees, and our business partners. We highly recommend Cherry Tree to anyone looking for advisors who pay attention to what is important, and work tirelessly to help clients achieve the best outcome.”

—  William Foudray, Chief Executive Officer, Vantage Financial

INDUSTRIES:
Financial Services, Technology
DESCRIPTION:  
Nationwide Provider of Technology Equipment Financing to Middle Market Companies
LOCATION: 
Excelsior, MN
TRANSACTION TYPE:
Sale to Publicly-Traded Financial Services Holding Company

Transaction Overview

In February 2022, Vantage Financial, a national lessor of equipment to middle market companies, announced it agreed to be sold to Peoples Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of Peoples Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ: PEBO), for total cash consideration of $54 million. Also, Peoples Bank agreed to repay approximately $21 million in recourse debt on behalf of Vantage. The transaction closed in March 2022.

Upon completion of the transaction, Vantage became a subsidiary of Peoples Bank but will continue to operate under the name Vantage Financial. The substantial majority of Vantage’s current leadership and associates are expected to continue in their positions, led by Vantage co-founder and CEO, William Foudray. Vantage co-founder and Chairman, Bob Murphy, plans to retire in March 2022 and will not be remaining with the company. 

“We are excited to welcome Bill and his highly talented team to Peoples and look forward to Vantage continuing its impressive track record of originating high quality assets,” said Chuck Sulerzyski, President and Chief Executive Officer of Peoples. He continued, “The addition of Vantage to the Peoples suite of product offerings will allow us to build upon our recent success with our North Star Leasing acquisition, while also becoming a top 100 U.S. leasing business based on combined assets.”

“My team and I are thrilled with the opportunity to partner with Chuck and the Peoples team. We believe that the combination of our intense focus on achieving above average risk-adjusted returns along with Peoples’ balance sheet will enable Vantage to accelerate on its track record of profitable growth,” Foudray commented. “The increased capabilities and resources for Vantage will benefit our clients, business partners, and employees.”

 

Cherry Tree’s Role

Cherry Tree was engaged to assist Vantage and its shareholders in identifying the best partner to help Vantage achieve its next phase of growth through a sale of the business, while allowing one of the founders to retire. Cherry Tree’s role included preparing evaluation materials, introductions and discussions with numerous potential partners, soliciting proposals, negotiating terms, supporting due diligence, and facilitating the closing of a transaction. It was especially important to the shareholders and management team that the process was well planned and efficiently executed, to not disrupt the core business operations, and to complete the transaction in a timely manner. And with our client being a private, non-regulated business being acquired by a publicly traded and regulated business, navigating and advising smoothly through a complicated transaction was essential.

About Vantage Financial

Vantage is a national lessor of equipment to middle market companies in a variety of industries throughout the United States. Vantage provides its clients with value-added technology leasing solutions based on long-term client and partner relationships built on exceptional service, creativity, and integrity. More specifically, Vantage provide its clients with flexible solutions for the utilization of technology equipment. Headquartered in Excelsior, MN, Vantage has regional offices located around the country to better serve their customers including Guilford CT, Holmdel, NJ, Santa Barbara, CA, Austin and Houston, TX, and Milwaukee, WI. Vantage Financial has been in business since 2011. Learn more at www.vantagefncl.com

About Peoples Bancorp

Peoples is a diversified financial services holding company and makes available a complete line of banking, trust and investment, insurance and premium financing solutions through its subsidiaries. Peoples Bank has been headquartered in Marietta, Ohio since 1902. Peoples has established a heritage of financial stability, growth and community impact. Peoples had $7.1 billion in total assets as of December 31, 2021, and 135 locations, including 119 full-service bank branches in Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, Washington D.C., and Maryland.  Peoples is a member of the Russell 3000 index of U.S. publicly-traded companies. Learn more at www.peoplesbancorp.com

Cherry Tree & Associates provides investment banking services through our FINRA-licensed broker dealer.

DISCLOSURES
FINRA
SIPC