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OffRoad Capital Drives Growth With Acquisition –

OffRoad Capital, an online private securities placement marketplace launched in 1999, last month agreed to acquire SPP Capital Partners LLC, a New York-based investment bank dedicated to private placements.

OffRoad Capital, which has offices in San Francisco, New York and Cambridge, Mass., provides an online forum for investors to review offering materials and exchange information about investing.

SPP Capital had been looking for ways to leverage technology in its deal sourcing and OffRoad Capital had been looking to increase its investors and products. What began as discussions of a possible alliance between the two firms soon turned into an acquisition agreement. The terms of the transaction are confidential, however John Forlines III, co-president of OffRoad Capital, said it would be financed with a combination of stock and cash.

When the deal closes – which is expected in the first quarter, possibly as soon as January – OffRoad will own 100% of SPP Capital, which will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary leveraging OffRoad’s technology. “We do believe over time the real benefit to SPP is that they’re going to be doing many more deals than they are doing now just because they are going to be better leveraged through the technology platform,” said Forlines.

OffRoad plans to further expand its own business by working with SPP Capital’s 17 partner banks which have expressed interest in OffRoad’s technology platform, as well as SPP Capital’s investor clients and issuers. “There’s a lot of business to be done within the SPP platform,” Forlines said.

While OffRoad has high hopes for the growth it will see from the SPP Capital platform, the firm is also looking at other future acquisitions. With this acquisition, OffRoad is another step closer to providing a global private securities markteplace, which its founders are convinced is the wave of the future. “There’s just an extraordinary number of inefficient practices in the market which the Internet can help with,” said Forlines. “Things like screening buyers, diligence, conducting auctions – all those things are very good for the Internet.”

However, he said, there will always be an offline component to these transactions.

In the past two months, OffRoad has taken great strides to expand its reach and offerings around the world. In October, the firm formed strategic alliances with InvestorForce.com , an online provider of content, commerce and community for institutional investors, and the Pittsford Group, a personal financial services provider. In the same month it forged joint ventures with the Partners Group> of Zug, Switzerland and Samjong Consulting of Seoul, Korea. In November, OffRoad Capital partnered with the investment banking arm of ING Barings to create a distribution channel for their combined investment opportunities through ING’s global affiliates.