Cassel Salpeter & Co. Adds Noted Healthcare Investment Banker Ira Z. Leiderman as Managing Director, Healthcare

MIAMI – May 23, 2016 – Cassel Salpeter & Co., a middle-market investment banking firm providing financial advisory services, has added Ira Z. Leiderman as Managing Director. Leiderman is noted as a highly experienced healthcare investment banker and executive.

Cassel Salpeter’s advisory services include: mergers and acquisitions; equity and debt capital raises; fairness and solvency opinions; valuations; and restructurings, such as 363 sales and plans of reorganization. At the firm, Leiderman will utilize his extensive expertise and relationships within the healthcare and life sciences investment banking and U.S. capital markets to further clients’ goals.

“Ira is a skilled healthcare investment banker with a wealth of experience and insight that will bring significant value to our clients and our firm’s growing healthcare practice,” said James Cassel, chairman and co-founder of Cassel Salpeter. “Cassel Salpeter will continue to expand in response to the increased demand for our healthcare industry expertise.”

Prior to joining Cassel Salpeter, Leiderman was the founder and managing partner of Long Trail Advisors, a life sciences advisory firm and mergers and acquisitions boutique. Ira also served as the co-head of Ladenburg Thalmann & Co.’s Healthcare Group, headed the Healthcare Group at Punk Ziegel, and served on the firm’s management committee. He also served as a member of The Palladin Group, an investment-management firm where he oversaw investment transactions in public and private life sciences companies. He joined Palladin after leading the healthcare practice at Gerard Klauer Mattison (now part of BMO).

Throughout his career, Leiderman has successfully led numerous transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, private placements, public offerings, follow-on financings, and valuations. He has conducted strategic advisory work for companies in the healthcare and life sciences sectors. His experience also includes providing guidance on investments in healthcare and life sciences companies in the United States, Europe, and Israel.

About Cassel Salpeter & Co.

Cassel Salpeter & Co., LLC is an independent investment banking firm that provides advice to middle market and emerging growth companies in the U.S. and worldwide. Together, the firm’s professionals have experience providing private and public companies with a broad spectrum of investment banking and financial advisory services, including: mergers and acquisitions; equity and debt capital raises; fairness and solvency opinions; valuations; and restructurings, such as 363 sales and plans of reorganization. Co-founded by James Cassel and Scott Salpeter, the firm provides objective, unbiased, results-focused services that clients need to achieve their goals. Personally involved at every stage of all engagements, the firm’s senior partners have forged relationships and completed hundreds of transactions and assignments nationwide. The firm’s headquarters are in Miami. Member FINRA and SIPC. More information is available at

Thinking of selling your business? Avoid these costly mistakes

By James S. Cassel

James Cassel headshotFor middle-market business owners thinking of selling their businesses, it can be easy to make a common — and costly — mistake: having the wrong valuation expectation. Influenced by hearsay and news reports of high valuations related to larger businesses and mega mergers and acquisitions, they develop overinflated expectations for the value of their own companies. As a result, they put themselves in a position of becoming disappointed, wasting time and resources, and missing opportunities.

Business decisions must be made using facts rather than emotions or
unfounded assumptions. Based on my experience working with middle-market business owners, here are some of the common factors that can negatively impact or shade their judgment. All of these are easily avoidable.

It happens all the time: Business owners hear that people they know or companies in their industries received high values for companies. Sometimes the reports are true; other times, they are fiction. In either case, business owners draw inaccurate comparisons and conclusions about what they can expect to get for their own companies. When anyone tells you they sold for a high value, do not assume this is any indication of what will happen when you sell your business.

First, you should confirm whether those sellers really received those values. Sometimes it is impossible to obtain this information. People often embellish.

If they really received those values, you must determine whether your business
is positioned to get a similar value, and you should identify the considerations and preparations necessary to secure the highest possible value.

Did those people you know sell early to consolidators who paid a premium, and now that those consolidators have completed those acquisitions, do the consolidators no longer need to acquire your company at a premium? Did you make a mistake by not selling first?

You must know how to accurately compare your business to those other businesses. Are your revenues the same? Do you have the same profitability and margins? Can your potential buyers find synergies by eliminating costs, consolidating parts of your business, or implementing new measures to achieve greater efficiencies? What have your key growth drivers been? Good advisors can help you navigate these questions.

Every company and industry is different, and while it is important to compare yourself to others, you must recognize the differences between your company and similar ones so you can properly assess your own situation. Additionally, timing can impact the valuation you can achieve.

For example, while Burger King and McDonald’s both franchise restaurants that sell hamburgers, they have different business models. McDonald’s owns or secures long-term leases for its franchise locations and Burger King does not. This affects restaurant performance levels, thereby affecting value.

Moreover, companies in different industries have different valuations. Tech companies can receive higher multiples than distribution companies because they have higher margins, profitability and, in many cases, greater growth.

Some business owners also get too emotional, their perceptions become clouded, and they fail to understand true valuation. Some think they should set the sales price of their companies based on the amount of money they need to maintain their current lifestyles. This is not a realistic approach.

Like it or not, here are the facts: A business is worth whatever a ready, willing and able buyer is willing to pay for it. Buyers want to pay what your business is worth today and not what it will be worth in the future. Buyers also generally do not want to pay for synergies: They want synergies to be among the advantages they gain in the acquisition.

Sellers also make inaccurate assumptions when they neglect to consider expense factors that may affect the companies’ profits after the sale.

Buyers will consider these factors when determining how much they are willing to pay, so you should consider this upfront and plan accordingly. For example, if you get business because your company is minority and/or woman-owned, what will happen if you sell and these advantages are lost?

For middle-market business owners thinking of selling their businesses, it is important to work with trusted professionals who can provide sound guidance as to value and process. Do not blame the messengers if they do not say what you want to hear. Everyone on the seller’s side wants to sell for the highest price, but to maximize values it is important to be realistic and use sound decision-making. Otherwise, you run the risk of missing valuable opportunities to sell your business at a realistic price to legitimate buyers.

James Cassel is co-founder and chairman of Cassel Salpeter & Co., LLC, an investment-banking firm with headquarters in Miami that works with middle-market companies.

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NephroGenex, Inc. Commences Voluntary Chapter 11 Proceeding; Seeks To Initiate Sale Process Under Section 363

RALEIGH, N.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE [1])–In connection with its decision to seek Chapter 11 protection, NephroGenex has retained the investment banking firm of Cassel Salpeter & Co., LLC, to assist with the anticipated sale of its assets through a sale process under Section 363 of the Bankruptcy Code. To that end, NephroGenex anticipates that it will seek approval by the Court of appropriate bidding and sale procedures in the early weeks of its Chapter 11 case.

“The Board and management team have conducted a rigorous assessment of all of our strategic alternatives and believe that this process represents the best possible solution for NephroGenex, taking into account our financial situation,” said Richard J. Markham, Chairman of t he Board of NephroGenex. “We are committed to an out come that maximizes value and believe that a bankruptcy sale process will enable us to meet that objective.”

NephroGenex has filed a series of customary motions with the Court seeking to ensure the continuation of normal operations during this process, including the timely payment of future employee wages and salaries, as well as maintaining employee benefits.

Additional information about this process, as well as court filings and other documents related to the Chapter 11 proceedings, are available through NephroGenex’s claims agent , Kurtzman Carson Consultants LLC, at [2].

Cole Schotz P.C. is serving as the Company’s legal advisor for the bankruptcy proceedings and Cassel Salpeter & Co., LLC is serving as its financial advisor for the bankruptcy proceedings.

Cautionary Note on Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains certain statements that are, or may be deemed “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements may be identified by words such as “expects,” “int ends,” “anticipates,” “plans,” “believes,” “seeks,” “estimates,” “will,” or words of similar meaning and include, but are not limited to, statements regarding the outlook for our future business and financial performance. Forward-looking statement s are based on our current expect at ions and assumptions, which are subject t o inherent uncertainties, risks and changes in circumstances that are difficult to predict. Actual outcomes and results may differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements due to global political, economic, business, competitive, market, regulatory and other factors and risks, including the items identified in the “Risk Factors” section of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2015, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) on March 29, 2016, as well as in other filings that we may make with the SEC in the future. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release reflect our current views with respect to future events, and we do not undertake and specifically disclaim any obligation to update any forward-looking statements.

Avenger Flight Group received growth capital from Patriot Capital and Seacoast Capital

  • Background:   Headquartered in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Avenger Flight Group, LLC provides commercial aviation simulation and training to domestic and international airlines using state of the art simulators located in Ft. Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Mexico City and Dallas.  Avenger also provides classroom training for trainers and pilots.
  • Cassel Salpeter:
    • Served as the exclusive financial advisor to the Company
    • Ran a competitive growth capital raise process, identifying and contacting over 50 strategic and financial parties
  • Challenges:
    • Complex existing capital structure
    • Capital intensive business
  • Outcome: In May 2016, Patriot Capital and Seacoast Capital invested in Avenger Flight Group.  Patriot Capital is a private investment firm based in Baltimore, MD.  Seacoast Capital is a private investment fund based in Boston, MA.