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     April 4, 2012

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U.S. Government Again Falls Short on Small-Biz Contracting Goal

The U.S. government has missed its small-business contracting goal every year in the past decade, a sign of the continuing barriers facing companies competing with larger rivals for federal work. The government has a target of awarding 23 percent of eligible prime, or direct, contracts to small businesses.

(Source: Bloomberg, 2012-03-29)

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Despite Economic Uncertainty, Companies Move Forward with IPOs

A better economic outlook and rising stock market are heating up the market for initial public stock offerings this spring, just weeks before Facebook's highly anticipated IPO. Still, with ongoing worries about high gas prices and unemployment dampening the economy, it's too early to tell whether an IPO recovery is here to stay.

(Source: Bloomberg Businessweek, 2012-03-29)

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Jobs Act Could Help All "Innovative" Companies, Supporters Say

Much of the talk around the Jobs Act has centered on the technology sector, but the biggest impact could land on far more prosaic ventures, investors and analysts say. The Jobs Act, a bill to make it easier for young companies to raise money, raced through Congress over the past several weeks.

(Source: CNBC, 2012-03-29)

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House Proposes Bill to Cut Taxes on Some Small Businesses

A new House proposal to cut taxes on small business might give a boost to manufacturing. The bill would allow companies with fewer than 500 employees to take a 20 percent tax deduction.

(Source: CFO.com, 2012-03-22)

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Corporations Concerned About R&D Tax Credits, "Transfer Pricing"

The research and development tax credit and 'transfer pricing' are the two top worries being reported to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service by companies on a new form known as "Schedule UTP" that took effect just last year, the IRS said. The R&D tax credit has been a leading area of dispute between companies and the IRS for years.

(Source: Reuters, 2012-03-21)

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Private Equity Buyout Market Making a Comeback

The private equity buyout market is back! A combination of the hot stock market and interest rates near all-time lows has created the perfect conditions for many public companies to put "for sale" signs up in hopes of enticing private equity attention.

(Source: CNNMoney.com, 2012-03-21)

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Private Equity Investments in China Soaring, Many with Gov't Link

A total of $27.6 billion was plowed into 695 investments in China last year, up 166 percent and 92 percent, respectively, over 2010, according to Zero2IPO Group, a venture capital and private equity research agency in Beijing. "The year 2011 witnessed a sharp growth in PE investments," wrote Fiona Fu, a senior analyst at Zero2IPO, in a January 5 report.

(Source: Bloomberg Businessweek, 2012-03-30)

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U.S. Private Equity Firms Still Await Opportunities in Europe

U.S. private equity firms are playing a waiting game in Europe. These firms, the Carlyle Group, Apollo Global Management and Oaktree Capital Management among them, have been raising billions of dollars during Europe's sovereign debt crisis to buy loan portfolios, corporate bonds and other holdings from troubled financial institutions on the Continent.

(Source: Commercial Appeal, 2012-04-01)

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Sharing Patents with Competitors Called Important for Innovation

Forget competition -- new research says that sharing patents with competitors will be the real factor that drives future innovation. That's the finding of Gilad Sorek, an assistant visiting professor of economics at the University at Buffalo, who found that free licensing, or giving up patent protection, stimulates demand for products and in the process make them more valuable.

(Source: Fox Business, 2012-03-23)

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Dozens of Programs Work to Pair Entrepreneurs with Mentors

The Clinton Foundation program is one of dozens of programs -- some more successful than others -- that pair entrepreneurs with mentors, from those overseen by the Small Business Administration to more specialized ones like the Venture Mentoring Service run by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. And with Congress and the presidential candidates talking about ways to help small-business owners who have fallen on hard times, one author thought it useful to look closely at a program whose success did not depend on money but time.

(Source: The New York Times, 2012-03-23)

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Number of Young Entrepreneurs Shrinking While Older Bracket Grows

Over the past 15 years, the percentage of entrepreneurs in the 20- to 34-year-old age group actually has dropped, according to a study released by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Those in the 55-64 age group, meanwhile, picked up the slack.

(Source: Indianapolis Business Journal, 2012-03-28)

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Five Reasons to Take a Hard Look at Making Stock Gifts in 2012

There have been some rather interesting road signs posted in 2012 for closely-held business owners at the intersection of business succession planning and estate planning. As family businesses look to the next generation for leadership, the federal government is making navigation in this area quite challenging, through a combination of federal estate tax provisions that are set to expire and roll back to prior levels absent new legislation. Add to that the turbulence and unpredictability brought on by the upcoming Presidential election, 2012 looks to be as interesting a year as 2010 in terms of family business estate planning when the estate tax disappeared altogether, only to come roaring back into view in 2011.
 

Read full article online.

Emerging Growth Companies—Election Year Winner?

Congress has just passed, and President Obama has announced he will sign, legislation entitled the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act).

This legislation includes a number of separate but related initiatives designed to assist small businesses to raise capital, including the removal of some perceived obstacles to becoming publicly-held through an initial public offering (IPO). (Please view Ice Miller's previous article on access to capital.) Members of Congress and the Obama Administration, by stressing the benefits to small businesses, were able to overcome objections from many who remain concerned that this deregulation effort goes too far and exposes investors to unreasonable risk. Even the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) raised serious concerns with some aspects of the JOBS Act. We shall see.

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Ice Miller Ranks in National Survey of Private Equity Law Firms

Ice Miller has been recognized as the 7th most active law firm in the nation based on the number of private equity and venture capital funds worked on for general partners and limited partners that had a final close in 2011, with a total of 140 fund transactions closed in 2011. The ranking appears in the March 2012 issue of the Private Equity Analyst, a publication of Dow Jones.

Read full article online.

By The Numbers

On March 22, 2012, ExactTarget completed its initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange, and began trading under the symbol ET. The company was able to raise more than $161 million – the shares traded at more than $25 during the first day of trading, up from the initial offering price of $19 per share with a final close that day of $25.11.

Source: NYSE, Ice Miller
 

Private Equity and Venture
Services Group

Ice Miller has been one of the most active law firms in the private equity industry over the last decade, representing both entrepreneurs building great companies and the private equity firms and individuals that invest in them.  We have extensive experience with all types of funds (formations and operations); mezzanine and senior secured financing; leveraged buyouts, roll-ups, build-ups, and consolidations; divestitures and exits; and complex litigation on behalf of investors and privately financed companies.  In addition, over the past 10 years, Ice Miller has represented hundreds of emerging growth businesses in various industries on such matters as entity formation, capitalization, capital raising, alternative financing, intellectual property rights and protection, growth and exit strategies, corporate governance, tax matters, and many other legal issues that are critical to the growth and success of an emerging company.

Read the complete profile of the Private Equity and Venture Services Group.

 

This publication is intended for general information purposes only and does not and is not intended to constitute legal advice.  The reader must consult with legal counsel to determine how laws or decisions discussed herein apply to the reader's specific circumstances.

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