The Palmetto Insider

The blog of the South Carolina Policy Council

Purported Innovista Tenant Opts Against Financial Transparency

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Collexis Holdings, the Columbia-based public company once held up by the University of South Carolina as a cornerstone tenant for Innovista, has decided it will no longer file information with government regulators about its financial condition.
Earlier this week, Collexis told the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission it was terminating the company’s reporting obligations.

“With the filing of the report, the company’s obligation to file periodic and current reports with the SEC, including Forms 10-K, 10-Q and 8-K, is immediately suspended,” the company said in the filing.

Essentially that means investors will no longer be able to track through the SEC the company’s performance, such as Collexis’ annual report, due earlier this fall. The company’s fiscal year ended June 30.

Collexis announced to great fanfare in 2007 plans to relocate to Innovista. Two years later, it’s simply trying to stay afloat. The company lost more than $5.4 million through the first nine months of its fiscal year.

That came on the heels of an $11.2 million loss during the previous year. Collexis’s stock, which sold for as much as $12 a share in 2007, currently trades for between 4 and 5 cents a share.

Despite the company’s problems and the fact it has never relocated to Innovista, it remains listed among “tenant profiles” on the Innovista website.

Then-University of South Carolina president Andrew Sorensen, a driving force behind Innovista and now a member of the company’s board, pinned high hopes on Collexis in 2007, when he made the announcement about the company moving into the research district.

“I am delighted that Collexis will become part of Innovista,” said Sorensen, who retired as president last year and serves as a distinguished professor at the University’s School of Medicine. “Collexis aligns very nicely with our research in alternative energy and fuel cells, the health sciences and computing. It is exactly the type of company that we want to have here.”

Collexis has been closely tied to Innovista and USC almost from the time it began in Columbia:

  • In October 2007, it was announced that USC had signed an agreement with Collexis and SC Launch to create a partnership for hydrogen fuel research. The project was funded with $200,000. SC Launch is an arm of the S.C. Research Authority, created by the General Assembly. SC Launch is partly sustained by contributions to the Industry Partnership Fund, for which contributors receive dollar-for-dollar tax credits;
  • Last November, former USC president Sorenson joined Collexis’s board.
  • Collexis is a graduate of the USC Columbia Technology Incubator. The Incubator has received $572,000 in state tax dollars since its inception.

Collexis’ difficulties mirror that of Innovista, the 500-acre research campus that was originally touted as a public-private partnership. Despite costing taxpayers more than $100 million, Innovista has just a single tenant, the University of South Carolina’s Arnold School of Public Health. The venture has produced no private sector jobs.

Innovista was intended to be a center for research on hydrogen and other technologies, and a magnet for private companies building spin-off products. Nearly four years later, Innovista’s goals remain largely unrealized as a majority of the buildings constructed can’t even be completed for lack of funds.


Written by Cotton Boll Conspiracy

November 5, 2009 at 12:59 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by scpolicycouncil: Purported Innovista tenant ends financial transparency, continues Innovista failure #sctweets…

    uberVU - social comments

    November 10, 2009 at 10:49 pm

  2. […] It’s impossible to tell just how badly Collexis did in the fiscal year ended June 30, 2009, because the company has yet to file its year-end report. […]

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