Village Ventures and FreshTracks Capital Announce $1 Million Investment in Mophie

first_imgVILLAGE VENTURES AND FRESHTRACKS CAPITAL ANNOUNCE $1 MILLION INVESTMENT IN MOPHIE”Vermont-based venture capital fund finances investment in Burlington-based iPod Accessories firm founded by 19-year old serial entrepreneur(Middlebury, VT 8/1/2006) – FreshTracks Capital, L.P. (FreshTracks), a Middlebury-based venture capital fund focused on investing in Vermont growth companies, announced its investment in mophie” of Burlington, VT. FreshTracks joined majority investor, Village Ventures, a Williamstown, MA based venture capital firm.Together, the syndicate invested one million dollars in the company, with an additional amount to be invested in the near future. mophie” is a developer of innovative, value-added solutions for the digital lifestyle accessory market, currently focusing on iPod accessories. mophie” was founded by Ben Kaufman, a 19-year old entrepreneur while he attended high school on Long Island, NY.Bo Peabody, who led the transaction for Village Ventures, founded Tripod Inc., one of the original developers of web-based personal publishing and communities in 1992 while he attended Williams College, then sold Tripod to Lycos in 1998.Sharing the perspective of college student entrepreneurs, Kaufman and Peabody connected immediately. Peabody commented, Bens maturity, understanding of his market, and vision for his product are exemplary. The power of the iPod economy continues to dominate digital media, and Ben has done a great job tapping into that community in conceptualizing and crafting mophies innovative RELO product line.Kaufman has been managing businesses since he was 14, when he founded his first company, a web development firm called BKMEDIA. Kaufman relocated mophie” to Burlington, VT when he enrolled at Champlain College and decided to lay down roots in the Champlain Valley of Vermont. Kaufman is one of the charter members of Champlain Colleges BYOBiz Program, which encourages student entrepreneurs to bring their businesses with them to college.Its hard to believe that something that started as a daydream in my high school math class has come to fruition. I am here today because of the incredibly tight-knit Vermont business community which has helped this 19-year-old prove that no matter how old, or young, you are, if you work hard enough and never give up hope for your dream… it can certainly come true, said Kaufman.Lee Bouyea, an Associate with FreshTracks Capital added, Weve been working with Ben for close to a year now, advising mophie and networking with Ben to locate the resources necessary to help the company become equity ready.FreshTracks recently assisted in hiring CEO Dave Schmidt to the company, allowing Ben to focus on product development and marketing, the two things he does best. Bouyea will join the board of directors when the transaction is completed.Schmidt brings to the company his former experiences as VP of Sales at Burton Inc., the international snowboard company, and as GM of Himaya, a sports sunscreen company, both based in Burlington, VT. Schmidt is excited to drive the mophie” team to success and said, This is a terrific opportunity to run a young company with amazing potential, and to help Ben realize his vision. Doing all of this here in Burlington makes it even better. This is a great place to grow a branded consumer products company, and we want to make mophie the next in a long line of successful growth companies that tap into the Vermont brand.Kaufman continued, I am super-psyched to begin pushing forward with the team we have now put in place. With backing from FreshTracks and Village Ventures, along with the amount of knowledge and experience they bring to the table, we are primed to make a huge impact on this market.mophie” is the 13th investment in FreshTracks first fund. FreshTracks provides a broad spectrum of equity financing to growth companies. Its investments include seed and early stage financing provided to re-launch EatingWell, a food and nutrition media company located in Charlotte, VT; financing for the going-private transaction of Vermont Teddy Bear; and expansion financing provided to ClearSource, a water bottling company with a flagship plant and springs in Randolph, VT.FreshTracks is often the first stop for Vermonts entrepreneurial companies seeking equity financing, no matter what their size or stage, said Cairn Cross, Managing Director of FreshTracks Capital. We have demonstrated that we can provide financing and value to very young companies as well as play an integral role in high-profile, complex private equity transactions, such as Vermont Teddy Bear in 2005.About mophie”mophie is a developer of innovative, value-added solutions for the digital lifestyle accessory market. Dreamt by a 19 year old with a head full of ideas, our goal is to create a funky product development firm built around good people and great ideas. For more information visit mophie.com.About FreshTracks Capital, L.P.FreshTracks Capital L.P. (www.freshtrackscap.com(link is external)) is an $11 million venture capital fund formed in 2001 and part of the Village Ventures nationwide network of venture capital funds. Since inception, FreshTracks Capitals first fund has invested more than $6 million in 13 portfolio companies. FreshTracks invests between $250,000 and $1,500,000 in private growth-oriented companies, primarily companies in close geographic proximity to Vermont. FreshTracks Capital, L.P. has 53 limited partners including Middlebury College, Banknorth, National Life Insurance Company, Key Bank, the John Merck Fund and Vermont Community Foundation.About Village VenturesVillage Ventures is an early stage venture capital firm investing in exceptional entrepreneurs building information technology and life sciences companies in emerging domestic geographies. Village Ventures identifies promising investment opportunities in partnership with its nationwide network of 13 early stage venture capital funds focused on these emerging markets. The combination of local capital and hands-on investment focus with Village Ventures’ centralized services and national network helps create compelling and innovative companies.www.villageventures.com(link is external)last_img read more

Green Mountain Coffee completes $250 million sale to Lavazza, SEC requests documents

first_imgGreen Mountain Coffee Roasters finally acquires Diedrich Coffee …May 12, 2010 … Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc has announced that it has acquired Diedrich Coffee, Inc. (NASDAQ: DDRX) for $35 per share of common … Green Mountain Coffee ranks #2 on Fortune’s global 100 fastest …Aug 19, 2010 … For the second consecutive year, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (NASDAQ: GMCR), of Waterbury, Vermont, has been ranked on Fortune’s … Green Mountain Coffee declares three-for-one stock split, earnings …Apr 28, 2010 … Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (NASDAQ: GMCR) today announced that its Board of Directors has approved a three-for-one stock split to … Green Mountain Coffee Roasters sees sales soar | Vermont Business …Jan 15, 2010 … Green Mountain Coffee Roasters ‘ based in Waterbury ‘ had a fairly …Also purchased this year was Timothy’s World Coffee from Toronto for … Green Mountain Coffee Roasters announces $250 million common stock …Aug 11, 2010 … As a leader in the specialty coffee industry, Green Mountain CoffeeRoasters, Inc. is recognized for its award-winning coffees, … According to a Form 8-K report to the Securities & Exchange Commission Tuesday, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc completed a sale of 8,566,649 shares of its common stock, par value $0.10 per share, to Luigi Lavazza S.p.A., an Italian corporation, for an aggregate purchase price of $250 million. The Waterbury company employs 1,010 in Vermont and more than 2,000 system-wide. It has been in a buying spree lately on the West Coast and in Canada as its stock price has climbed and sales of Keurig-brand single cup serving systems has taken off. The company reported in the same filing that the SEC had requested certain documents, which GMCR believes is related to ” certain revenue recognition practices and the Company’s relationship with one of its fulfillment vendors.” It declined to comment further on the SEC request, other than to say it was cooperating fully. However, its stock price fell on the news 16 percent to $31.06. Its 52-week high is $37.97 and its 52-week low is $19.85. I was at $31.30 late Thursday. http://investor.gmcr.com/stockquote.cfm(link is external)The sale of the Shares to Lavazza was effected pursuant to the Common Stock Purchase Agreement, dated as of August 10, 2010, by and between the Company and Lavazza. The execution of the SPA was previously reported by the Company in its Current Report on Form 8-K filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission on August 11, 2010, and the full text of the SPA was filed as Exhibit 10.1 thereto. In connection with the closing of the sale of the Shares, the Company and Lavazza entered into a Registration Rights Agreement, dated as of September 28, 2010 (the ‘RRA’).Pursuant to the terms of the RRA, after the first anniversary of the date of the RRA or the earlier occurrence of specified triggering events, Lavazza will have a demand, Form S-3 registration right with respect to the Shares then held by Lavazza and other Common Stock or other securities convertible into or exchangeable for Common Stock acquired by Lavazza in accordance with the terms of the SPA (collectively, the ‘Registrable Securities’). In addition, after the first anniversary of the date of the RRA, Lavazza will have a piggyback registration right to have the Registrable Securities then held by Lavazza included in a Company-effected registration, other than a registration relating to employee benefit plans or resulting from other specified corporate events. Lavazza’s demand and piggyback registration rights are subject to the limitations and conditions set forth in the RRA, including, with respect to underwritten offerings, customary underwriter cutbacks. The RRA also provides that all expenses (other than underwriting commissions, transfer taxes, fees of Lavazza’s counsel and similar fees and commissions) incurred in connection with any registration that is subject to the exercise of Lavazza’s registration rights will generally be borne by the Company, and contains other customary provisions, including those relating to indemnification.Item 2.02 Results of Operations and Financial Condition.The information in Item 7.01 of this Current Report on Form 8-K is incorporated by reference into this Item 2.02.Item 3.02 Unregistered Sales of Equity Securities.To the extent required by Item 3.02 of Form 8-K, the information contained or incorporated in Item 1.01 of this Form 8-K is incorporated by reference into this Item 3.02. Exemption from registration under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the ‘Securities Act’), for the sale of the Shares to Lavazza was based on Section 4(2) of the Securities Act.Item 7.01 Regulation FD Disclosure.In connection with its acquisition of LJVH Holdings, Inc., or Van Houtte, a leading gourmet coffee brand in Canada in the home and office channels, and the marketing of the associated $1.35 billion debt financing, the Company hereby furnishes the following information:Intercompany adjustment correctionIn connection with the preparation of its financial results for its fourth fiscal quarter, the Company’s management discovered an immaterial accounting error relating to the margin percentage it had been using to eliminate the inter-company markup in its K-Cup inventory balance residing at its Keurig business unit. Management discovered that the gross margin percentage used to eliminate the inter-company markup resulted in a lower margin applied to the Keurig ending inventory balance effectively overstating consolidated inventory and understating cost of sales. Management determined that the accounting error arose during fiscal 2007 and analyzed the quantitative impact from that point forward to June 26, 2010.As of June 26, 2010, there is a cumulative $7.6 million overstatement of pre-tax income. Net of tax, the cumulative error resulted in a $4.4 million overstatement of net income or a $0.03 cumulative impact on earnings per share.After evaluating the quantitative and qualitative aspects of the error in accordance with applicable accounting literature, including Staff Accounting Bulletins published by the SEC, the Company, with the participation of the audit committee of the Board of Directors, has determined that the correction in the margin calculation represents a correction of an error in accordance with Accounting Standards Codification 250 Accounting Changes and Error Corrections, that the correction was not material to the fiscal years and the respective quarters ended 2007, 2008 and 2009 and that the Company anticipates that the correction will not be material to fiscal year 2010 and the respective quarters of fiscal 2010. As a result, the Company anticipates the cumulative amount of the accounting correction will be made in the quarter ended September 25, 2010.The Company does not intend to provide further updates regarding the correction of this error or the Company’s results for fiscal year 2010 until its fiscal 2010 fourth quarter earnings release and conference call. Additional details regarding the correction of this error will be provided in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended September 25, 2010.SEC inquiryOn September 20, 2010, the staff of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement informed the Company that it was conducting an inquiry and made a request for a voluntary production of documents and information. Based on the request, the Company believes the focus of the inquiry concerns certain revenue recognition practices and the Company’s relationship with one of its fulfillment vendors. The Company, at the direction of the audit committee of the Company’s board of directors, is cooperating fully with the SEC staff’s inquiry.Note Regarding Forward-Looking StatementsCertain statements contained herein are not based on historical fact and are ‘forward-looking statements’ within the meaning of the applicable securities laws and regulations. Generally, these statements can be identified by the use of words such as ‘anticipate,’ ‘believe,’ ‘could,’ ‘estimate,’ ‘expect,’ ‘feel,’ ‘forecast,’ ‘intend,’ ‘may,’ ‘plan,’ ‘potential,’ ‘project,’ ‘should,’ ‘would,’ and similar expressions intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. Owing to the uncertainties inherent in forward-looking statements, actual results could differ materially from those stated here. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the impact on sales and profitability of consumer sentiment in this difficult economic environment, the Company’s success in efficiently expanding operations and capacity to meet growth, the Company’s success in efficiently and effectively integrating Tully’s, Timothy’s, and Diedrich’s wholesale operations and capacity into its Specialty Coffee business unit, the Company’s success in introducing and producing new product offerings, the ability of lenders to honor their commitments under the Company’s credit facility, competition and other business conditions in the coffee industry and food industry in general, fluctuations in availability and cost of high-quality green coffee, any other increases in costs including fuel, Keurig’s ability to continue to grow and build profits with its roaster partners in the At Home and Away from Home businesses, the Company’s ability to continue to protect and enhance its intellectual property, the Company experiencing product liability, product recall and higher than anticipated rates of warranty expense or sales returns associated with a product quality or safety issue, the impact of the loss of major customers for the Company or reduction in the volume of purchases by major customers, delays in the timing of adding new locations with existing customers, the Company’s level of success in continuing to attract new customers, sales mix variances, weather and special or unusual events, the impact of the inquiry initiated by the SEC and any related or additional governmental investigative or enforcement proceedings, as well as other risks described more fully in the Company’s filings with the SEC. Forward-looking statements reflect management’s analysis as of the date of this Current Report on Form 8-K. The Company does not undertake to revise these statements to reflect subsequent developments, other than in its regular, quarterly earnings releases. Source: GMCR. September 28, 2010Green Mountain Coffee Roasters to acquire Van Houtte for $900 …Sep 14, 2010 … Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc (NASDAQ: GMCR) announced today that it has executed a Share Purchase Agreement pursuant to which GMCR … For more stories on Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, go towww.vermontbiz.comlast_img read more

Downtowns from Quebec, Vermont celebrate “sisterhood”

first_imgOfficials representing the downtown associations of Coaticook, PQ and Newport City formally celebrated their new Jumelage or ‘sister downtown’ relationship at a ceremony in Montpelier Tuesday, the first of what supporters hope will be many such connections made.‘Both of these communities have thriving downtowns, and both are working to further enhance the economic and social vitality in their downtowns,’ said Governor Jim Douglas, who attended the ceremony. ‘I hope this initiative will provide yet another opportunity for Vermont and Quebec to learn about each other’s best practices, this time in downtown revitalization, and set the stage for greater cooperation in the future.’Officials from Quebec’s downtowns and the Fondation Rue Principal (Main Street Foundation) were in Vermont for several days visiting their Vermont Downtown Program counterparts in several of the state’s designated downtowns and village centers to learn more about their efforts.‘We are very excited,’ said Julie Favreau, Coordinator of Coaticook’s Rues Principales. ‘We are at the very beginning of this process, so we are looking forward to cooperating with the City of Newport.’‘Newport City Renaissance Corporation is looking forward to exploring all possibilities and opportunities to partner with our sister organization in Coaticook, Quebec,’ said Patricia Sears, Executive Director of the downtown organization for Newport. ‘This will be an expansion of the work we have been doing for the past three years with the Eastern Townships in Quebec to enhance cross-border exchange of culture and commerce.’The Vermont Downtown program works to support local revitalization efforts in the state’s designated downtowns and villages. To date, 23 Vermont downtowns and 103 village centers are designated and all older and historic buildings in these designated areas are eligible for investment incentives.‘One of the key things we’ve learned in downtown revitalization is that you have to have a dedicated downtown revitalization organization to lead the process,’ said Joss Besse, director of the Vermont Downtown Program.  ‘This visit brings together the managers of those organizations, both Quebec and Vermont, to learn from each other’s experiences.’Designated communities become eligible to compete for funding for building rehabilitation and safety improvements, and transportation projects, primarily Downtown and Village Center State Tax Credits.In 11 years, the state has dedicated over $12 million these communities, leveraging hundreds of millions more in private and municipal investments.For more information, please visit: www.historicvermont.org/programs/downtown.html(link is external)last_img read more

Welch, Sanders refute plan to keep Bush tax cuts

first_imgAs President Obama took to the airwaves Monday night to announce a deal to extend President George W Bush’s tax cuts, Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) called the plan ‘fiscally irresponsible’ and ‘grossly unfair.’ US Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) comments were even stronger, calling it a “moral outrage.”Sanders issued the following statement today on the agreement announced Monday between the White House and congressional Republicans:‘In my view, it is a moral outrage that at a time when this country has a $13.8 trillion national debt, a collapsing middle class and a growing gap between the very rich and everybody else that the Republicans would deny extended unemployment benefits to 2 million workers who are desperately struggling to pay their bills and maintain their dignity. It is also beyond comprehension that the Republicans would hold hostage the entire middle class of this country so that millionaires and billionaires would receive huge tax breaks. In my view, that is not what this country is about and it is not what the American people want to see. Our job is to save the disappearing middle class, not lower taxes for people who are already extraordinarily wealthy and increase the national debt that our children and grandchildren would have to pay.‘The immediate political task in front of us is to rally the American people so that in the next several weeks we can find at least a few Republicans who will join us in saying no to increasing the deficit by giving tax breaks to the wealthy and no to holding the unemployed and the middle class hostage.‘I believe that we have the American people on our side on this issue. My office, and I come from a small state, has received more than 600 calls today, 99 percent of them in opposition to this so-called compromise that the president negotiated with the Republicans.‘I will do everything in my power to stand up for the American middle class and defeat this agreement.’In a letter to Speaker Pelosi that Welch circulated to his House colleagues Monday night, Welch wrote, ‘We support extending tax cuts in full to 98 percent of American taxpayers, as the President initially proposed. He should not back down. Nor should we.’Welch will send the letter to Speaker Pelosi after gathering signatures from his colleagues on Tuesday. The full text of the letter is copied below.Dear Madam Speaker,We oppose acceding to Republican demands to extend the Bush tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires for two reasons.First, it is fiscally irresponsible. Adding $700 billion to our national debt, as this proposal would do, handcuffs our ability to offer a balanced plan to achieve fiscal stability without a punishing effect on our current commitments, including Social Security and Medicare.Second, it is grossly unfair. This proposal will hurt, not help, the majority of Americans in the middle class and those working hard to get there. Even as Republicans seek to add $700 billion to our national debt, they oppose extending unemployment benefits to workers and resist COLA increases to seniors.Without a doubt, the very same people who support this addition to our debt will oppose raising the debt ceiling to pay for it.We support extending tax cuts in full to 98 percent of American taxpayers, as the President initially proposed. He should not back down. Nor should we.Sincerely,PETER WELCHMember of Congresslast_img read more

Shumlin applauds Walmart decision to abandon Civil War site for store

first_imgGovernor Peter Shumlin today applauded a decision by Wal-Mart to abandon plans to build a new store in Virginia on the site of a Civil War battlefield where there were more than 1,200 Vermont casualties and nearly 400 lost their lives in one of the bloodiest battles of that war. Walmart said today that it would abandon that location 60 miles from Washington, DC, and seek another location. A civil case on the matter was scheduled to go to court Thursday.‘Vermont paid a terrible toll on that site on May 5 and 6, 1864, losing so many of our young men in the Battle of the Wilderness,’ the Governor said. ‘Our brave soldiers gave their lives to keep the country together and end slavery. It would have been an awful loss to have that battlefield covered in the shadow of a Walmart store.’The store would have been located near a monument donated by the state and the land on which the 1st Vermont Brigade fought. Remnants of their entrenchment can still be seen at the site.‘There are almost certainly Vermonters buried there,’ the Governor said. That two-day battle is now viewed as the beginning of the end for the Confederate Army.Former US Senator James Jeffords secured an appropriation from Congress to buy the land on which the Vermonters fought ‘ near the site of the proposed Walmart. The 2009 Legislature passed a joint resolution calling for Walmart to relocate the planned store to a more appropriate site.last_img read more