The Investment Shares team at the Co-op has been working diligently at preparing for this vital component of the Co-op’s relocation. The sale of Investment Shares will enable our owners to play a major part in funding the Co-op’s transition to a larger, more dynamic location, while also providing those same owners with the opportunity to earn a healthy dividend from their investment. Investment Shares are the preferred method for cooperatives across the nation to raise capital for large projects, and we are excited to be embarking on a campaign of our own in 2016.
Before the Co-op can start selling these shares, though, we need to have our entire Investment Share offering vetted by the California Department of Business Oversight (DBO). The DBO’s mandate is to protect consumers from misleading, fraudulent, or unsafe financial instruments and investments. The DBO application process is time-consuming and arduous, but entirely worthwhile. The Co-op’s team has taken great pleasure in preparing our offering for DBO inspection.
The Co-op was not alone in crafting the documents for our DBO application. We received thorough and penetrating legal advice from Therese Tuttle, an attorney whose family has specialized in cooperative law for three generations. Her experienced hand guided us in crafting disclosures, memoranda, and a half-dozen other documents necessary to make a new financial offering to our owners. We also received invaluable advice from Ben Sandel of the CDS Consulting Co-op. CDS advises co-ops all over the country on how to expand and grow in healthy, sustainable ways.
Working together, we were able to create the dozens of pages of documents requested by the DBO. The whole process culminated in our submission last week to the DBO of our full and final application to sell Investment Shares. Our attorney, Ms. Tuttle, has advised us that the remainder of the application process can take anywhere from 1-3 months, as the DBO will go through all our documents with a fine-toothed comb to make sure that our plan is straightforward, feasible, and good for investors.
We will keep you updated on all the developments in the Investment Share campaign through our newsletter, Facebook, and blog—so keep an eye out for communications from the Co-op!