Class VI Partners (“Class VI”, formerly known as CapitalValue Advisors or CVA) is pleased to announce the recapitalization of The CE Shop (“CES”, or the “Company”) by Waud Capital Partners (“Waud Capital”, or “Waud”). Class VI served as the exclusive financial advisor to CES. “It was a great honor and privilege to represent The CE Shop and find a partner who will support the Company in its next phase of growth,” said Chris Younger, Managing Director for Class VI. “From a pure bootstrap start-up, Michael and Ken built a tremendous company, founded on its core mission to deliver an educational experience that enhances the lives of the professionals and communities it serves. Waud will provide a great home for The CE Shop team. We are enthusiastic about its continued growth into a more robust set of services for its existing customers, in addition to its expansion into additional end-markets and verticals. Finally, we are grateful for the opportunity to have been able to work with Ken and Michael for several years before their transaction and see their growth and success first-hand.”
Founded in 2005, The CE Shop (https://www.theceshop.com/) is one of the fastest growing companies in online education and is the leading digital provider of compliance-driven education solutions necessary for professionals seeking to pursue or advance their employment in the real estate industry. CES offers the full spectrum of regulated career education from pre-licensing and exam preparation, to post-licensure and continuing education. The CE Shop was first-to-market providing innovative and proprietary content to its learners through LEAP, a fully cloud-based and mobile-friendly learning management system.
The Company’s partnership with Waud will further enable CES’s organic value-creation initiatives, allow the Company to pursue a robust acquisition pipeline, and expand its presence into new end-markets to support the next phase of its growth. As part of the partnership, Waud is committing new equity capital to support growth. The current management team, led by co-founders Ken Horner and Michael McAllister, will continue to lead the operations of the business and will be meaningful shareholders in the recapitalized company.
Michael and I could not be more grateful that we made the decision to hire Class VI several years ago,” Ken Horner, CEO, commented. “Not only does Class VI perform all the traditional investment banking services, but, more importantly, they were with us every step of the way, starting from when we were analyzing various growth opportunities several years ago. The team at Class VI does an incredible job of anticipating hurdles in an M&A process and helping entrepreneurs, such as myself and Michael, navigate various challenges. Further, they did an outstanding job preparing our business (and us personally) to go to market and pushed the process at a pace that got the deal done efficiently. They are true professionals and incredible partners during what can be a very stressful time in the life of any entrepreneur. The individuals at Class VI will be lifelong friends, partners, and advocates. I would recommend them to any entrepreneur, whether or not you believe a capital event is in your near future.”
Our vision is to be the world leader in professional education by providing an innovative and results-driven learning experience. Accomplishing this will require a continuation of outsized growth and the pursuit of transformational existing and new market initiatives. We selected Waud Capital as our partner given its experience successfully executing similar growth strategies in CES’s existing and adjacent markets,” added Ken.
The Class VI team is first class all the way, particularly their process management – it is truly amazing how they juggled so many parts and pieces simultaneously and did it with total accuracy and clarity. The way they anticipated our needs and delivered was truly incredible. To all the other entrepreneurs out there, get your house in order and engage a top brass firm like Class VI. If you don’t know how to get your house in order, they will help you so you can go through the process as bullet-proof as possible.” Michael added, “Our culture and core values are critical to fulfilling our mission and realizing our vision. Waud Capital embodies similar values in their partnership approach to investing and will be a terrific fit with our team and principles”, noted Co-Founder, Michael McAllister.
We are thrilled to be partnering with Ken and Michael to continue building The CE Shop into the market leader for professional education,” added Justin DuPere, Partner at Waud Capital. “Our investment reflects our commitment to supporting world class management teams and industry leading companies in sectors that we bring deep institutional knowledge and experience. We look forward to partnering with the Company to help build long term value behind multiple organic and inorganic opportunities.”
The Company will continue to operate under the CE Shop name, providing the highest level of quality, content, education, and value out of its offices in Greenwood Village, CO.
The transaction closed on December 18, 2020. Sherman & Howard served as legal counsel to The CE Shop, and Kirkland & Ellis served as legal counsel to Waud Capital Partners.
Looking for more information about this transaction?
Please contact Chris Younger at 303.243.5601 or [email protected].
Class VI provides middle-market investment banking services, including mergers and acquisitions advisory, corporate advisory, business valuation, and private capital raising services through its affiliate, Class VI Securities, LLC and Member FINRA. Class VI is also affiliated with and offers wealth management services through Class VI Family Office, LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor with the Securities & Exchange Commission.