October 14, 2009
Among the many consolidations of MLPs (recall the mergers of Magellan Midstream MMP, Atlas ATLS or the pending Enterprise/Teppco EPD/TPP) one deal stands out as a particularly bad deal: the opportunistic squeeze-out of minority shareholders of Hiland Partners (HLND) and Hiland Holdings GP (HPGP) at record low prices by oil magnate Harold Hamm. Management of the two firms seems to be getting increasingly worried about obtaining sufficient votes for the buyout at the October 20 shareholder meeting, judging by the flurry of proxy solicitations that we have received. With the recent recovery in gas prices the acquisition looks priced too cheaply, and it is no wonder that shareholders are reluctant to support this bad deal.
Billionaire Harold Hamm controls Read the rest of this entry »
August 25, 2009
Wilshire Enterprises (WOC) finally launched its $2 tender offer for 4 million shares, roughly half of the outstanding shares. It is a bad deal for shareholders and we anticipate that worse is to come because public shareholders will be minority holders in a firm whose management has a record of poor decisions, such as the refusal to sell at $8.50 to Mercury Real Estate Partners a few years ago. Read the rest of this entry »
July 14, 2009
In a surprise move, private equity firm Thoma Bravo increased the price it is willing to pay for Entrust (ENTU) from $1.85 to $2.00 on Friday. We had forecast that shareholders would vote down the transaction in this post last week, and we suspect that a rejection of the $2 buyout will lead eventually to a bidding war over Entrust. Three other bidders expressed interest in Entrust during the go-shop period at prices higher than Thoma Bravo’s, but the board decided that these proposals were not “superior”. Therefore, we think that there is enough interest in Entrust to make it a candidate for a bidding war if shareholders vote down the current deal. Read the rest of this entry »
March 30, 2009
The shareholder meeting of Wilshire Enterprises (WOC) has been adjourned for the second time. This is actually the third delay of the shareholder meeting, which was originally scheduled for February 26 in Wilshire’s preliminary proxy materials. The meeting was then set for March 24th and at the last moment adjourned to March 30th. Today, the meeting was adjourned again to April 20th. Read the rest of this entry »
March 20, 2009
Wilshire CEO Sherry Wilzig Izak with Mina Otsuka, her brother "Sir Ivan" and friends (left to right)
The end of the first round is approaching in this years most underreported proxy fight, the battle over Wilshire Enterprises (WOC) between Phil Goldstein’s Bulldog Investors and Wilshire’s CEO Sherry Wilzig Izak. Two directors will be elected at Tuesday’s meeting, and shareholders will also vote on proposals to end the staggered board, seek a liquidity event and abolish the poisons pill. We have written extensively about the battle previously (here, here). Read the rest of this entry »
February 25, 2009
Wilshire CEO and party girl Sherry Wilzig Izak with her brother "Sir Ivan"
The battle over Wilshire Enterprises between Phil Goldstein’s Bulldog Investors and Wilshire’s (WOC) CEO Sherry Wilzig Izak is gradually growing into a full scale war, if not a jihad. Among a string of litigation, the shareholder meeting was postponed from this week to March 24th, giving management crucial time to beef up their defenses that ultimately will be futile. We have previously chronicled the battle between Wilshire and Bulldog, which ended in a temporary defeat of Bulldog when management declared that “initial bids are in” for a prompt sale of the company. Almost a year after the initial bids, a buyer emerged for $3.88/share, down from $8.50 a few years ago when management rejected a bid by Mercury Real Estate as “undervalued”. Last year’s buyer didn’t have enough funds to acquire Wilshire, and the stock now trades just over $1.
With the date of the shareholder meeting approaching, the fight over Wilshire is heating up. Wilshire’s management is fighting hard to keep Bulldog out: Read the rest of this entry »
February 19, 2008
Hedge fund activist Joseph Stilwell has been so busy trying to block the acquisition of SCPIE Holdings (ticker: SKP) by privately held The Doctors Company that he lost sight of the forest amid the trees. Investors don’t get an answer to the obvious question of why no higher bid has been made, even though Stilwell insists that a higher bid was available. The reason: the potential buyers all signed standstill agreements that prevent them from making acquisition proposals without the board’s approval. Read the rest of this entry »