Chicken Soup for the Soul files for IPO in bid to raise $30M
'Chicken Soup for the Soul' became a self-help force in the book world.
Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, a publisher of self-help videos, has filed to sell its common stock shares in an initial public offering that aims to raise as much as $30 million.
The company’s IPO will seek to sell 900,000 shares of its Class A common stock for $12 per share, it said in a Friday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
If all 900,000 shares are sold, the Cos Cob, Conn.-based company may sell up to an additional 1.6 million shares at its “discretion,” it said.
Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment was created last year as a subsidiary by its current parent company -- Chicken Soup for the Soul Holdings (CSS Holdings) -- to focus on video production.
CSS Holdings, controlled by its Chairman and CEO William Rouhana Jr., granted brand licensing rights to the subsidiary. Rouhana "has control over the vast majority of all the outstanding voting power" of the IPO-bound unit through its stock structure, the filing said.
The company has applied to have its shares listed on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol CSSE. If it’s not approved, it expects to have shares listed on the Nasdaq Capital Market, which has less stringent capital and liquidity requirements.
Founded in 1993 by motivational speakers Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, Chicken Soup for the Soul is a well-known brand among self-help book fans. Many of its 250 books, which are compilations of inspiring stories for targeted audiences, have become best-sellers, and the company says it has sold 11 million copies worldwide.
In 2008, the founders sold the company to a group that includes Rouhana and his wife and company publisher, Amy Newmark, and former Chicken Soup president Robert Jacobs. The company has since expanded its business lines to sell foods, pet foods, apps and advertising on its YouTube channel. It's also developing a TV show and a movie, it said.
Its 2016 revenue totaled $8.1 million, up from $1.5 million a year earlier, according to the filing. Its net income was $800,000, compared to a net loss of $800,000 in 2015.
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