I had spent over two years and all of my financial resources to develop an on-line money transferring company and had yet to launch my business. I was close to abandoning the project when I was introduced to WPCP last year. They immediately recognized the value drivers of my business, the regulatory complexities, and the tremendous market potential overseas. Through their efforts, we have completely revamped the marketing strategy, created a strategic alliance with an industry leader, partnered with a Texas-based commercial bank, and are on our way to success. This would not have been possible if not for the exhaustive efforts of Victory’s team.
O’Connor & Company Securities is a very niche-focused investment banking firm focused on public finance. Not only do we issue public bonds and other securities, we also maintain a substantial book of business that we actively trade through our broker-dealer. Because we are investment bankers, we thought that we could find a strategic partner ourselves, who would acquire us, recapitalize the firm, and allow us to grow into new markets. After one and one-half years of going the road ourselves, we hired Summit Capital Partners (now Victory Partners, LP). Within 6 months we were well on our way to putting together a merger deal with Southwest Securities in Texas that far exceeded our goals in every category. Quite honestly, given our size and niche focus, I was surprised at the speed at which we had offers from several firms. Our partnership has allowed us to take substantial chips off the table while positioning us to compete against the bulge-bracket firms for state and local government sponsored issuances. The guys at Victory certainly earned their keep!
AFC hired Victory Partners (formerly Summit Capital Partners) to issue a fairness opinion to our shareholders regarding the acquisition of our company, traded on the bulletin board, by Michigan Fidelity Acceptance Corp. We first got to know the Victory Team when they represented a well-known California-based mortgage banking company in their efforts to acquire a national, publicly-traded savings institution. Although they eventually passed on our company, we were extremely impressed with the level of professionalism, breadth and depth of knowledge, and the speed of execution with which they operated. We interviewed several nationally-recognized investment banking firms and determining that Victory was best suited to issue the opinion to our board and shareholders. The transaction was closed in December 2003 and we have already referred a new client opportunity to them
We were referred to Victory Partners through our bank after an exhaustive search to find an investment banking firm that understood both the financial services and software industries. We hired them to assist us in developing our strategic plan and capital-raising strategy, not only due to their knowledge and expertise in these fields, but more importantly to us, because they understand the entrepreneurial spirit and mindset of middle-market companies so well. We intend on going public in September and have appointed Mr. Lazenby to our board of advisors. We have relied on him and his team at great length to help us navigate the difficult waters we have faced in positioning the company for explosive growth.
Allow me to take this opportunity to thank you for your extraordinary efforts in the sale of our company to Diagnostic Imaging, Inc. You worked tirelessly, represented our interests thoroughly, and kept us focused on our outcome, no matter what obstacle crossed our path. Without your insight and resolve, I am sure that we would have never bridged the gaps on several key issues, nor would we have attained our final selling price. We found everyone at Victory to be incredibly persistent, yet unbelievably patient with us. Your firm far exceeded our expectations.
What attracted me about Victory was the entrepreneurial mentality of the firm’s principals. Other investment bankers have touted their pedigrees and promised the moon, but failed to comprehend the nuances that make my company so unique and valuable. Most of the bankers at Victory have created companies in other industries from scratch, so they were able to quickly understand my business and add immediate value. They earned my trust to the point that I deferred key decisions to them and asked them to join my board. Their results continue to reaffirm in my mind that I made an excellent choice.
We at Celerity Partners want to commend you for a job well done. The Imperial Technology deal was a showcase for brilliant investment banking execution. We could have never closed this transaction without you. The professionalism and energy with which you represented Manny and the Imperial shareholders served them well. Please do not hesitate to use us as a reference with any other potential clients.
After enduring a nine month engagement with a well-known investment banking firm with little progress to speak of, I was contacted by Victory. The previous firm had tried to convince me that my company wasn’t sellable, even though we were the market leader in solid-state data storage technology design and manufacturing. Victory immediately saw the value in my firm and moved swiftly to arrange and structure a deal that greatly exceeded my shareholders’ expectations. Instead of simply selling Imperial, Victory arranged a re-capitalization with a new financial partner that left us in charge of the company with a significant equity stake and new growth strategy. I can’t say enough about the folks at Victory.
Two years ago, we decided as a company that we had maximized our potential without bringing in a well-funded strategic partner. We hired a nationally recognized investment banking firm. After one year and hundreds of thousands of dollars later, our deal fell apart at the midnight hour. Although we were exhausted from the process, I was given the green light to proceed. Through various sources, I hired several business brokers to represent us on a non-exclusive basis. Through this process, we met Victory Partners.
Within two months, we understood the difference between what Victory brought to the table versus what the brokers did and turned the process over to them to exclusively manage. They immediately dove into our business, applying a level of sophistication and thoroughness we had never seen before. Within 60 days, we were entertaining eight different offers, all at higher prices than we had originally expected. WP’s greatest contribution to our shareholders was finding the right partner, best suited from both a strategic and financial standpoint to help us take SCS/Frigette forward. The deal value closed at more than twice our expectation and, today, I remain the chairman and CEO and a significant shareholder. Because of WP’s efforts, we are poised more than ever to create value and make significantly more money for our shareholders upon a second sale of the company.