Tag Archives | financing

Recapitalizing Your Company Using Mezzanine Financing

Recapitalizing Your Company Using Mezzanine Financing

“There comes a time in every company’s life cycle when the company and/or the entrepreneur need some more cash. Perhaps the company needs more working capital or some additional money to help fund an expansion. Or, maybe the entrepreneur feels that it’s time to reap the benefit of all those years of hard work. Whichever the case may be, the entrepreneur will be faced with many different financing options. An interesting and often over-looked option is that of bringing in a private equity partner in the form of mezzanine funding. Furthermore, the only option may be recapitalizing your company using mezzanine financing.

Why can’t I just go to a bank?

Let us consider a common business dilemma: 1) lack of working capital or 2) lack of funds for capital expansion. Entrepreneurs by nature are optimists and passionate people, especially when it comes to their companies. They want and need a financial partner that can grow with them. Typically, your first option of choice is your friendly, neighborhood commercial bank. There are several issues that one often encounters here…”

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Recapitalizing Your Company Using Mezzanine Financing

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Mark to Market Controversy vs The Laws of Finance

A large part of the mark to market controversy revolves around the fact that mark to market accounting is in direct violation of a fundamental law of finance.

Mark to Market Controversy vs The Laws of Finance

It has long been accepted that when financing assets you should match the term of the debt with the life of the underlying asset. In other words, long term assets should be financed with long term debt and short term assets should be financed with a short term liability.

Mark to Market

Mark to market accounting ignores the liquidity of the underlying asset. In fact, in many respects it converts the characteristics of long term assets into short term assets.

Assume that I am going to finance a house. The house should last at least forty years, consequently, I place a thirty year mortgage on it. Unless I sell the house during the thirty years then I should pay off the mortgage. No problem; everybody wins!

However, what if I were to place a short term debt on a long term asset? I would stand a very good chance of losing my investment in a down economy. The same situation holds true for a lender who makes a long term loan secured by a short term asset.

But a house is a long term asset you say! What is a long term asset? A long term asset is an asset whose expected life is greater than one year. In the case of a mortgage it is a loan whose maturity is greater than one year. The problem with mark to market accounting is that you must treat that asset as if it were sold every day. In effect converting the long term asset into the characteristics of a short term asset.

From the banks perspective you now have a long term asset (ie: mortgage) secured by a short term asset (ie: house). The total opposite of what we are taught in the laws of finance.

Bottom Line

The bottom line is that mark to market accounting distorts the true economics of the transaction versus reflecting it. Mark to market accounting has to go before the banking community can recover.

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mark to market controversy

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mark to market controversy

See also:
Accounting Income vs Economic Income
Deferrals Definition
Cost Control vs Cost Reduction

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Financing a Startup

Recently came across an article in the London Times about how to approach financing a startup or new business. Overall it’s a pretty good summary of the basic dos and don’ts. Do know what you can do without today. Negotiate with your suppliers so that you can get better terms on your payables, such as a longer payment period and/or discounts. Don’t take on an equity investor unless they bring something to the table which is absolutely crucial (other than money).

Financing a Startup

One item mentioned, which has been problematic for even my established clients has been the timely billing of customers and collection of accounts receivable. How much working capital are you financing due to large A/R balances? For most startups, poor billing and collections can be a killer combination. For all businesses, it can be quite expensive to continue to finance customers for months after a purchase. Know your accounts receivable turnover. Track it. If it is low or declines over time, find out why. Seek to improve the timing of your collections. Provide your staff with incentives for reducing your company’s days sales outstanding.

Many entrepreneurs focus on profitability (which is important) but neglect monitoring and managing their cash flow. It is important as the financial manager of a startup or smaller company to watch your cash flow like a hawk.

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Financing a Startup

Financing a Startup

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