history of innovation

For 60 years, Safeguard has been synonymous with entrepreneurship and innovation.

Founded in 1953, Safeguard has a distinguished record of building market leaders by providing capital and operational support to entrepreneurs across an evolving and innovative spectrum of industries.

Go back in time to learn more about our History of Innovation:

19
50s
19
60s
19
70s
19
80s
19
90s
20
00s
20
10s
pete musser

1953
Safeguard Scientifics was originally founded as the Lancaster Corporation in September 1953, by Warren V. “Pete” Musser and Frank A. Diamond, as a holding company to invest in small firms, particularly in the electronics, atomic energy, chemical, metal and petroleum industries.

check writer

1953
Lancaster Corporation deployed capital in Safe-Guard Check Writer Corporation, a company that produced a machine that imprinted checks with the dollar amount by perforating the paper.

comcast

1954
Lancaster Corporation deployed capital in a fledgling electronics company called Jerrold Electronics Corporation of Philadelphia—the world’s largest manufacturer of community antenna equipment at that time—which later became Comcast.

auto parts

1965
Lancaster Corporation’s wholly-owned subsidiary—Safeguard Automotive Corporation—was formed to become a supplier of parts to the vast automotive replacement parts market.

safeguard industries

1966
Lancaster Corporation changed its name to Safeguard Industries.

safeguard goes public

1967
Safeguard Industries went public.

NYSE

1971
Safeguard Industries began trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the ticker symbol SFE. Today, SFE is the 244th oldest company listed on the NYSE; the 20th oldest Pennsylvania-based company; and the 8th oldest that is based in the Greater Philadelphia area.

annual report

1972
Safeguard Industries made the strategic decision to emphasize and enlarge its efforts in business services and automotive parts, which were identified at the time to have large growth and profit potential.

automotive

1976
Safeguard Industries completed the acquisition of all publicly held shares of Safeguard Automotive Corporation, which became a wholly-owned subsidiary.

computerized information procession

1978
As the “Information Age” began, Safeguard Industries made a decision to refocus its strategy and resources in the area of computerized and manual information procession.

steering wheel

1980
Safeguard completely withdrew itself from the remanufactured parts due to a weakening aftermarket, which resulted from significant fluctuations in the price and availability of gasoline, high interest rates, and the then automobile downsizing trend.

safeguard scientifics

1981
Safeguard Industries changed its name to Safeguard Scientifics, Inc.

novell data systems

1981
Novell Data Systems became a Safeguard Scientifics partner company.

compucom

1984
CompuCom Systems became a Safeguard Scientifics partner company.

novell

1985
Safeguard Scientifics became the first company of its kind to leverage the benefits of a public structure to support emerging growth companies through subscription rights offerings. The first partner company to benefit from this structure was Novell when it went public in February 1985.

QVC

1986
Safeguard Scientifics made history as a founding shareholder in QVC.

city

1990
Safeguard Scientifics Founder Pete Musser co-founded the Eastern Technology Council with the late Dr. Hubert J.P. Schoemaker, Co-Founder of Centocor.

cambridge

1993
USA Today recognized Safeguard Scientifics partner company Cambridge Technology Partners’ rights offering as “the most successful IPO for a technology company in 1993.”

first website

1998
Leveraging the new age of the World Wide Web, Safeguard Scientifics launched its first corporate website.

icg nasdaq

1999
Safeguard Scientifics took ICG Group, Inc. (formerly known as Internet Capital Group) public on the NASDAQ, under the ticker symbol ICGE, representing one of the greatest wealth creation events in public market history.

platinum equity

2004
Safeguard Scientifics’ majority-owned subsidiary, CompuCom Systems, was acquired by Platinum Equity. The transaction generated $128 million in gross cash proceeds, further strengthening Safeguard’s balance sheet in the wake of the Internet-bubble.

peter boni

2005
Peter J. Boni joined Safeguard as President and CEO, bringing more than 25 years of experience as the CEO of technology companies in all stages of growth, and as an operating partner with a large global private equity firm.

oracle

2006
Safeguard Scientifics partner company Mantas was acquired by i-flex® Solutions, a subsidiary of Oracle Corporation, for $112.8 million—resulting in a gain of approximately $83 million for Safeguard.

focus

2008
Safeguard Scientifics sold stake in five legacy partner companies for $106 million, aligning Safeguard’s portfolio of companies with core strategic focus on life sciences and technology.

ge healthcare

2010
Safeguard Scientifics partner company Clarient was acquired by GE Healthcare for $587 million—representing the largest cash return in Safeguard’s history.

eli lilly

2010
Safeguard Scientifics partner company Avid Radiopharmaceuticals was acquired by Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY) for $300 million upfront, plus an additional $500 million payable upon the achievement of future regulatory and commercial milestones.

shire

2011
On the eve of pricing an IPO, Safeguard Scientifics partner company Advanced BioHealing was acquired by Shire plc (LSE: SHP, NASDAQ: SHPGY) for $750 million, in cash, representing a 25% premium to the mid-point of the IPO pricing range and a 13x cash-on-cash return for Safeguard.

mckesson

2011
Safeguard Scientifics partner company Portico Systems was acquired by McKesson (NYSE:MCK) for $90 million, in cash, representing a 4x cash-on-cash return for Safeguard.

closing bell

2011
Safeguard commemorated 40 years of trading on the New York Stock Exchange by ringing the Closing Bell.

penn mezzanine

2012
On November 1, 2012, Stephen T. Zarrilli became President and Chief Executive Officer of Safeguard, having previously served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer since 2008.

thingworx ptc

2013
Safeguard Scientifics partner company ThingWorx was acquired by PTC for $112 million, plus an earn-out of up to $18 million, representing a 4x cash-on-cash return for Safeguard.

alverix bd

2014
Safeguard Scientifics partner company Alverix was acquired by BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) (NYSE: BDX) for $40 million, plus an earn-out of up to $18 million, representing an approximate 1.9x cash-on-cash return for Safeguard.

nupathe teva

2014
Safeguard Scientifics partner company NuPathe (NASDAQ:PATH) was acquired by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NYSE:TEVA) at a price of $3.65 per share.

crescendo bioscience myriad genetics

2014
Safeguard Scientifics partner company Crescendo Bioscience was acquired by Myriad Genetics (NASDAQ:MYGN).

  

 

Throughout our nearly 60 year history, Safeguard has successfully completed more than 100 M&A transactions and more than 20 IPOs. Safeguard continues to build value in tomorrow’s market leaders, many of whom are in our current family of innovative partner companies.