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Safeguard Scientifics' CEO Discusses Q4 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Before we begin, I must remind you that today’s presentation includes forward-looking statements. Reliance on forward-looking statements involves certain risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to the uncertainty of future performance of our partner companies and the risks of acquisition or disposition of interests in partner companies, capital spending by customers, and the effect of regulatory and economic conditions generally, as well as the development of the life sciences and technology markets and other uncertainties that are described in our SEC filings. During the course of today’s call, words such as accept, anticipate, believe and intend will be used in our discussion of goals or events in the future. Management cannot be certain that financial outcomes will be as described today. We encourage you to read our filings with the SEC, including our Form 10-K which describes these risks in details. The Company does not assume any obligation to update any forward-looking statements made today.

Now here’s Safeguard’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Peter Boni.

Peter Boni

Thanks John, and thanks to all of you for joining us today for updates on Safeguard Scientifics and our partner companies. Results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31 were distributed at close of market yesterday. 2011 was an exceptional year of value-creating activity at Safeguard. We executed two well-timed exits with net proceeds of $182 million, including escrowed amounts, booking at cash-on-cash returns of 4 times and 14 times on the sale of our positions in Portico Systems and Advanced BioHealing, respectively.

Safeguard’s deal teams deployed $69.4 million of capital in seven new partner companies and made three follow-on deployments in existing partner companies for $14 million. The strategic and operational support of Safeguard’s partner companies drove aggregate revenues to increase 27% year-over-year. We also launched Penn Mezzanine, Safeguard’s first platform expansion initiative in alternative asset management through which we expect to generate management fee and interest income, as well as profit participation opportunities. The repayment of $31 million in corporate debt bolstered Safeguard’s balance sheet, improving the Company’s ratio of total debt to equity year-end to 1:8. In short, the team is executing a focused and disciplined strategy which is enhancing Safeguard’s brand as the preferred catalyst to build great companies, ultimately boosting the Company’s financial strength, flexibility, and driving value for our shareholders.

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