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Greenhill CEO not interested in going private

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Greenhill CEO not interested in going private

Greenhill & Co. Inc. CEO Scott Bok said going private would not make much sense for his company, and it is not a shareholder-friendly move.

Greenhill recently announced a leveraged recapitalization plan that included the repurchasing of up to $235 million of its common stock. During the company's Oct. 18 earnings conference call, an analyst asked Bok why the company did not go private.

Bok said being public lets employees know the value of the stock they own. The public currency also gives them a greater ability to sell their shares.

"If one were to take a firm like ours private, I think one would very quickly start thinking about how you would take it public again at some point to get people liquidity," Bok said. "I don't really see the benefit of going private in that regard."

He added that the current buyback plan gives shareholders the option to sell their stake or stay invested in the company. Going private is less shareholder-friendly because Greenhill would essentially force investors to sell at a set price, Bok said.

Bok added that the current plan can give employees a larger ownership percentage and more leveraged upside.

"It makes a lot of sense to do exactly what we did, which is kind of halfway between the historic unlevered structure we always had and a going-private transaction," he said.