In the comment thread of a previous post ("Harris & Harris as an Obama Stock") a commenter asked if Harris & Harris (Nasdaq: TINY) would spin off shares of a portfolio company that goes public or distribute a cash dividend after selling its shares. According to Harris & Harris CEO Doug Jamison, with whom I spoke this evening, after a portfolio company goes public, Harris & Harris typically has a 180-day lock-up period before it can sell its shares. It wouldn't spin off shares to shareholders, but would sell portfolio company shares after the lock-up period expires and either use those proceeds to reinvest in other opportunities (among current portfolio companies or new ones) or potentially distribute proceeds to Harris & Harris shareholders as a cash dividend. Of course, this is an inauspicious time for any company to attempt to go public, so it may be a while before the next IPO of a Harris & Harris portfolio company.
I also asked Jamison about the investment thesis mentioned in the Forbes article, that some of TINY's clean tech portfolio companies may benefit from Obama infrastructure spending. That's their hope, Jamison said, and he noted that the clean tech portfolio companies have been liaising with their Congressional Representatives about that.
Another question that came up in the comment thread of the previous post on Harris & Harris concerned the company's liquidity. According to Jamison, the parent company has about $53 million in cash and no debt on its balance sheet, and it expects parent company operating costs to be about $6 million in '09.
Descriptions of Harris & Harris's portfolio companies, along with their respective website addresses can be found here.