Archived News | 2002-2005

UnityWorks! Media Receives New Financing

Minnesota based UnityWorks! Media completed a private placement of equity and debt financing. Carefree Capital, a Minneapolis based private equity firm, led the equity investment.  >more

UnityWorks Media

Vitesse Learning merged with Provinent Corporation

VitesseLearning merged with Provinent Corporation, forming the largest independent business in the fragmented North American customized learning marketplace with over $20 million in combined billings. >more

Vitesse Learning

New England College of Finance sold to Best Associates

The New England Collese of Finance (NECF) was acquired by Best Associates through its recently formed Whitney International University.  >more

New England College of Finance

LiquiCell receives debt financing from Whitebox Advisors, LLC

Minneapolis-based LiquiCell Technologies, Inc. completed a debt financing with Whitebox Advisors, LLC, a Minneapolis-based hedge fund.  >more


Peoples Educational Holdings, Inc. Announces Pricing of Public Offering

Peoples Educational Holdings, Inc. announced that its registration statement for the sale of 500,000 shares of Common Stock was declared effective today by the Securities and Exchange Commission.  >more

Peoples Education

Diversified Graphics sold to investor group and senior management

Diversified Graphics Inc.(DGI), a $55 million Minneapolis-based print solutions and social stationery products company was purchased by a group of financial investors and its senior management team in a recapitalization of the company.  >more

Diversified Graphics Incorporated

Dolan Media Acquires Print, Electronic Arizona News Service

Dolan Media Company said today it had acquired Arizona News Service, a multimedia electronic and print publisher specializing in coverage of Arizona state government.  >more

Dolan Media Company

Kevin McKenna Joins Cherry Tree’s Investment Banking Group as Managing Director

Cherry Tree Securities, a private investment bank specializing in providing M&A advisory and private placement services to entrepreneurially managed companies, today announced that Kevin McKenna has joined the firm’s Minneapolis office as a Managing Directord.  >more

Cherry Tree

Dolan Media Acquires Legal Services Provider — Counsel Press

New York, NY, January 20, 2005 (PR Newswire)– Dolan Media Company said today that it had acquired New York City-based Counsel Press, the nation’s largest provider of appellate services to the legal profession.  >more

Dolan Media Company

Capella Education Company Announces New Investors—
Insight Venture Partners and Technology Crossover Ventures Make Sizable Investments

Capella Education Company, parent corporation of Capella University, an online accredited university headquartered in Minneapolis, announced today the addition of two new investors through a series of transactions totaling more than $60 million.  >more

Capella University

Hoffco sold to investor group

Wood Lake, MN, December, 2004 – Hoffco Incorporated announced the sale of the company to an affiliate of Fieldston Investors SIGI, a New York investment group.  >more

Hoffco, Inc.

WR Medical sold to senior management

MINNEAPOLIS, MN, September, 2004 – WR Medical Electronics Co. announced the sale of the company to the senior management. WR Medical develops and manufactures equipment for neurophysiology diagnosis and paraffin bath treatment. Cherry Tree Securities represented WR Medical and its shareholders during the sale of the company.

WR Medical Electronics Co.

Dolan Media Acquires 14 Newspapers, Web Sites of Lawyers Weekly

MINNEAPOLIS, MN, September 1, 2004 –Dolan Media Company announced today that it acquired the 14 newspapers and associated Web sites of Lawyers Weekly, Inc., a leading publisher for the legal profession. The deal closed Tuesday, Aug. 31. Purchase price and terms were not disclosed.  >more

Dolan Media Company

Ed Kohler and Mike Townley Join Cherry Tree’s Investment Management Groups

MINNEAPOLIS, MN, June 1, 2004 – Cherry Tree Investments, a leader in venture capital and private equity investing since 1980, today announced the recent addition of Ed Kohler and Mike Townley to its investment management team.  >more

Cherry Tree

Mike Bochert Joins Cherry Tree’s Investment Banking Group

Mike Bochert has joined the firm’s Minneapolis office as a Managing Director. Bochert brings three decades of investment banking experience to Cherry Tree and will be involved in valuations, fairness opinions, M&A and capital markets transactions.  >more

Cherry Tree

Twin Cities Entrepreneurs Band Together for Habitat House

April 29, 2004, MINNEAPOLIS/ST.PAUL — Venture capitalists usually pull together funds to build businesses. This time, they’re doing the same thing — and swinging hammers — to build a house.  >more

Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity

Fingerhut Receives $62.5 Million Equity Investment—
New Financing Positions Company for Significant Growth

Fingerhut Direct Marketing, Inc., today announced that it has closed a new equity financing totaling $62.5 million. The financing, led by two leading venture capital firms — Bain Capital Ventures and Battery Ventures — also includes a significant equity investment from Tom Petters, chairman and CEO of Petters Group Worldwide, LLC.  >more


Peoples Educational Holdings, Inc. 2003 Revenues Increase 48% Over Prior Year

Peoples Educational Holdings, Inc. today reported revenue of $27.8 million for its fiscal year ended December 31, 2003, up 48% from $18.8 million in 2002. Operating Income was $2.1 million in 2003, up 110% from $1.0 million in 2002. Net income for the 2003 year was $1.2 million, up 100% from $0.6 million in 2002. Earnings per share, on a diluted basis, was $0.34 in 2003 compared to $0.17 in 2002.  >more

Peoples Education

Sale of the General Packaging Business of Waddington North America, Inc. (Hopple Plastics) to The Fabri-Form Cos

Cherry Tree Securities, LLC recently completed the sale of the General Packaging Business of Waddington North America, Inc. (Hopple Plastics), a portfolio company of Code Hennessy & Simmons LLC, to The Fabri-Form Co. Cherry Tree Securities acted as the exclusive investment banking advisor for Waddington North America.  >more


XATA Secures $4 Million Investment from Trident Corporation

XATA Corporation, the leader in onboard fleet management solutions for the private fleet trucking industry, today announced a $4 million investment by Trident Capital, a premier private equity firm focusing on information services and enterprise software.  >more


Entrepreneurs Contribute Sweat Equity for Low-Income Housing

The Entrepreneurs House is a community service project sponsored by Cherry Tree for the Twin Cities entrepreneurial community. A group of entrepreneurial companies, investment firms and other businesses that serve the entrepreneurial community have come together to build a house as a part of Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity.  >more

Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity

Capella Receives $7.5 Million Investment from Maveron LLC —
Venture capital firm to advise online university

Minneapolis, Jan. 23, 2003 – Capella Education Co., the parent of Capella University, formed a strategic alliance today with Maveron LLC, a venture capital firm which invests in consumer companies and businesses that empower consumer companies.  >more

Capella University

Honoring exceptional service by corporate board member

Tony Christianson, Managing Partner of Cherry Tree, was recently honored as one of five outstanding directors in Minnesota. Tony has served on over 40 boards in the past 20 years and is a “hands on” director, serving often on the Audit Committee, being a partner with the CEO, and bringing a creative approach to growth. Tony currently serves on the boards of Dolan Media Company, Capella Education Company, Transport Corp. of America, AmeriPride Services, Greenspring Company, and Fair Isaac and Company.

“Among all my directors, he is the one most attuned to long-term strategies. He is the one I always go to for those serious, what-are-we-doing-here conversation that CEOs sometimes need to have. Tony is my rock. He is, hands down, the best director I have ever had.” —Jim Dolan, CEO of Dolan Media Company, Minneapolis.

Outstanding Directors Awards

MinnesotaBusiness—May 2002

Cover Story
by Mark Druskoff

Trade Secret
The force behind many prosperous Minnesota firms, Cherry Tree Investments’ founders have developed their own formula for success.

What’s the most valuable commodity known to man? Oil. Gold. Gems. None of the above. It’s innovation. And over the last two decades the single greatest source of innovation in the economy has come from entrepreneurs.

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To request a back issue, call 952-844-0400.

Minnesota Business Magazine