Utah’s Control4 Goes Public

Sarah Ryther Francom

August 9, 2013

Utah’s business community has experienced a dearth of IPOs in recent years. No companies made the private-to-public move during 2012, and only two companies went public in 2011 (Fusion-io and Skullcandy). In this issue of Utah Business, we feature the state’s top public companies ranked by revenue. While there aren’t many surprises on this year’s list, there are a few notable changes. Three public companies are now privately held—, Groen Brothers Aviation and ZYTO Corp. And longtime public company Schiff Nutrition was acquired by Reckitt Benckiser. See the entire list on page 64.

So far this year, only one Utah company has taken the IPO plunge—Control4, which just recently conducted its IPO on August 2 and is now trading on the NASDAQ under the symbol CTRL. The company launched its IPO by selling 4 million shares at $16 per share, raising $64 million.

I recently spoke to Control4 CEO Martin Plaehn about the company’s IPO and its future. Based in Salt Lake, Control4 offers a “smart home” technology solution, allowing consumers to have remote control over appliances, networking systems and home electronics. Though the company hasn’t been profitable in years, Plaehn exudes excitement for its future.

“We’re sitting at the base of an enormous market—the connected home. The world is only going to be connected more and more, and we’re the company that can be the top system of this connectivity.”

Plaehn, who joined Control4 as CEO nearly two years ago, says his goal when taking the leadership reigns wasn’t necessarily to take the company public, but it soon became clear that conducting an IPO was integral to the organization’s long-term sustainability. “I found that [going public] was the best way to grow and accelerate the company’s presence,” he says. “Having a public balance sheet adds to our chest of business tools that we can apply to enhance our mission to be the best operating system of the home.”

Plaehn says the challenge the company faces now is to stay focused amid the many changes an IPO presents. “If we get distracted on a particular day when things are good or bad, that can be diffusing. We’re going to focus on being the operating system of the home, providing the best end solutions. If we keep our focus on great products, great service, great employees, everything else will take care of itself.”

Launched in 2003, Control4 employees nearly 350 individuals and has offices in San Jose, Calif., and New York, and has plans to open an office in North Carolina and a training center in Shanghai. At the end of its first day on the NASDAQ, Control4 shares were trading at $20.05. 

We congratulate Control4’s IPO success and look forward to watching it and Utah’s other public companies in the coming year.

From the Editor

Sarah Ryther Francom

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