Acorn International Reports Results for the First Half of 2017

Acorn International, Inc. announced its unaudited financial results for the second quarter through a conference call lead by Acorn International’s Jacob A. Fisch.

Acorn International, Inc. announced its unaudited financial results for the second quarter ending June 30, 2017. The results were discussed through a conference call lead by Acorn International’s Jacob A. Fisch.

In the second quarter, Acorn continued to focus on its business turnaround strategy, delivering double-digit revenue growth, higher gross margins and a reduction in loss from operations due to management’s narrowed focus on core business and top performing brands.

Acorn International’s Management believes the performance of its core business improved substantially in the first and second quarters. Their medium-term goal is to achieve operating profitability to position the business for long-term, sustainable success. Management remains focused on maintaining healthy margins, managing expenses and generating additional cash flow.

In the first half of 2017, the Company reduced its stake in Yimeng Software Technology Co., Ltd., a publicly traded company in China, earning a pre-tax gain of approximately $9.1 million. Comparatively, in the first half of 2016, the Company recorded a pre-tax gain on the sale of Yimeng shares of $18.1 million and a $6.0 million pretax gain on the sale of non-core real estate.

Acorn intends to pursue increased revenue for the remainder of 2017 by growing sales of its proprietary-branded products as well as third-party branded products. The Company is placing an increased emphasis on its e-commerce channel and expects sales from this platform to play a bigger role in the business going forward.

Cara Summer Social

More than 300 guests attended the 5th Annual Cara Summer Social.

More than 300 guests attended this past summer’s Cara Summer Social. 2017 marked Cara’s 5th Annual Summer Social and all proceeds benefited Cara’s work to alleviate poverty in Chicago. The event, hosted at the Loews Chicago Hotel, raised a record-breaking $68,000.

The theme of this year’s Summer Social was “A Taste of Gourmet. A Toast to Motivations,” and featured chef stations from some of Chicago’s most popular gourmet restaurants. Attendees enjoyed dishes prepared by chefs from Lobo Ray, Marchesa, Emilio’s Tapas Sol Y Nieve, The Dawson, Nonnina & Piccolo Sogno, Marchesa and Olive Mediterranean Grill.

The event theme reflected on one of Cara’s traditions known as “Motivations.”  Motivations include daily circles where Cara participants and community members get together to share personal stories of strength and perseverance. Motivations include group songs and focus questions designed to spark conversations that encourage participants to share thoughts and feelings from their various experiences.

“Motivations” are just one example of the many ways Cara helps empower impoverished individuals to transform their lives. Cara works with individuals facing homelessness, unemployment and poverty, some of whom have criminal records that hinder their ability to easily find employment and reliable housing. Cara’s mission is to help individuals break the cycle of poverty by providing both job and skills training, as well as working with program participants throughout the job placement process and beyond.

Catching Up With Wahlburgers

The Wahlburgers intended expansion into the Asia-Pacifc in partnership with Cachet Hospitality is discussed on AE series, Wahlburgers.

Earlier this year, Wahlburgers, the burger chain run by Mark, Donnie and Paul Wahlberg, announced their intended expansion into Asia. They formed a joint venture with Cachet Hospitality Group to expedite their growth.

Wahlburgers is headquartered in Massachusetts and currently operates locations across the United States and Canada. Cachet Hospitality plans to help Wahlburgers to reach their goal of expanding to 100 new locations throughout the Asia Pacific region.  

During last week’s episode of the Wahlburgers, the AE series providing a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the Wahlberg brothers, the family discussed their Asia-Pacific business plans. David Laris, Cachet Hospitality Group’s EVP of Global Food & Beverage and President of Wahlburgers Asia Pacific Joint Venture, was featured talking with Mark and Paul Wahlberg.

To watch the Wahlburger’s episode, sign in and view here.

Will The Debt Ceiling Be Raised?

Introduction of Robert Roche’s op-ed for Huffington Post on the United States current debt ceiling crisis.

Recently, Robert Roche authored an op-ed discussing the United States’ distinct need to raise the country’s debt ceiling. He noted that the United States’ Treasury Department projects the debt limit could be reached as early as September 29th. Should this happen, the government will be unable to borrow money to pay the bills for expenses it approved in last year’s budget.

Roche discusses why raising the debt ceiling is a must-pass scenario. The United States’ government is better off borrowing more to pay its outstanding bills than not paying them at all. For the benefit of the United States’ credibility, and for the millions of Americans relying on government services, Congress must pass a clean extension of the debt ceiling well in advance of the October deadline.

To view Robert Roche’s full Op-Ed on Huffington Post, click here.

Acorn International Sells Majority Stake in HJX Business

Acorn International reaches an agreement to sell majority stake in HJX business.

Acorn International, Inc. recently announced that they’ve reached an agreement to sell a majority stake in its HJX business which engages in direct sales of Ozing branded electronic learning devices. The agreement includes the formation of a joint venture. The third-party investor and operator responsible for purchasing the majority stake will consequently control and operate the joint venture.  

Acorn International’s Executive Chairman Mr. Robert Roche noted, “The agreement with HJX represents a positive move for Acorn as we realign our strategy and focus our attention on the markets that will drive profitable growth.”

The joint venture is expected to be operational in the coming months helping to liquidate a large stock of HJX inventory and transition select expenses on a pro rata basis to the joint venture.  Acorn has decided to move forward with the partial divestiture of HJX in an attempt to relinquish its daily management. This will increase Acorn’s focus on its already profitable businesses and brands, and will also increase the profitable growth of new business ventures.

“This joint venture marks one of our final key steps in turning around and restructuring the business away from loss-making legacy businesses to focus more closely on our brands and business areas that support our mandate for profitable growth,” Mr. Jacob Fisch, Acorn’s President concluded.

CNAS 2017 Annual Conference: Navigating the Divide

The Center for New American Security hosted its Annual Conference.

On June 28th, 2017, the Center for New American Security (CNAS) held it’s Annual Conference. Individuals gathered at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. to tune into several different National Security industry leaders delivering sessions on security-related topics. This year, the annual conference’s theme was “Navigating the Divide.” Among the hundreds of different conference goers, recently appointed CNAS Board of Director member Robert Roche, attended with his son.

To begin the day’s debates, CNAS Co-Founder and CEO Michèle Flournoy delivered welcoming remarks. She was followed by 40 different individuals who delivered their sessions in both individual and group presentations. Their discussions ranged in topic from “The Future of the West and the Transatlantic Cooperation” to “National Security in a Distracted World.” The annual conference is one of the many ways CNAS looks to further its goal of informing and preparing the national security leaders of today and tomorrow.

The goal of CNAS in holding events such as the Annual Conference is to elevate the overall U.S. national security debate by engaging policymakers, experts and the public. They will continue to facilitate national security conversations by uncovering innovative, fact-based research, ideas, and analyses in an attempt to continue to influence the national security discussion.

CNAS has thoughtfully integrated itself into the network of the United States’ policymaking community. CNAS utilizes its unique research agenda to impact the decisions leaders make in National Security to further advance U.S. interests and strategy.  By performing unprecedented research and analyses, they have attracted industry thought leaders to head their research programs, deepening their ability to shape the nation’s security.

Acorn International Reaches Settlement Agreement

Acorn International announced that it has reached a settlement agreement relating to a claim filed against three former Board of Directors members.

Acorn International announced today that it entered a Settlement Agreement on July 28, 2017, relating to a December 2016 claim filed against three former members of the company’s Board of Directors. The claim was filed on December 1, 2016, in the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands in response to alleged breaches of fiduciary duties, misconduct and/or mismanagement by the former directors.

The initial filing involved a previously disclosed dispute between two groups of company shareholders. This dispute resulted in the improper removal of Robert Roche as Executive Chairman of Acorn International by members of the company’s previous Board of Directors. The Grand Court of the Cayman Islands ruled that the former directors had breached their fiduciary duties to Acorn International by removing Mr. Roche as Executive Chairman, and were liable to the company for any loss and damage caused as a consequence of these actions.

In accordance with the Settlement Agreement, all parties involved agreed to drop any claims, counterclaims or other proceedings related to the previous disputes. Acorn International’s audit committee reviewed and approved the Settlement Agreement. It was later approved by the company’s current Board of Directors.

Acorn’s President, Jacob Fisch called the agreement a “highly symbolic” moment for the company.

“In addition to being a good deal for our company, this is a highly symbolic moment for Acorn where, after years of difficulty, we are now able to truly put the troubles of our past behind us and be 100% forward-looking as we grow our business into the future, ” Fisch stated in a press release.

Robert Roche, Executive Chairman of Acorn International, stated: “We are pleased with this outcome and are excited that we can now focus our efforts on enhancing and growing the business.”