There’ll be no private companies at Roth Capital Partners LLC’s annual investor conference,just public ones, thank you.
“It’s just very difficult to get private financing,” said Byron Roth, chief executive of the Newport Beach-based investment bank. “Even venture capitalists are finding there are some very attractive valuations in public companies.”
So far, Roth Capital has booked 160 companies to present to investors at its conference March 17-18 in Laguna Niguel, about as many as Roth invited two years ago.
“Except these are all public companies,” Roth said.
In 2000, the conference was opened to private companies for the first time, coinciding with the peak of venture investing.
That year, about 25 percent of the 120 companies that presented were private. But that fell to about 15 percent of the 160 companies that presented in 2001. Last year, only one of 115 companies was private.
With a week to go, Roth Capital had registered 1,200 attendees, down from 1,500 a year ago.
The focus on public companies is of note for Roth Capital. There was speculation last year that the investment bank could dump its research department as the company’s underwriting business slowed.
But last April, Roth named Gordon McBean, a broker and the firm’s former managing director of corporate executive services, as its new director of research.
Under McBean, Roth Capital upped the size of its research department to 14 analysts from 12.
Orange County Business Journal