October 6, 2009
Surprise, surprise! American Community Properties Trust (APO) is selling itself. And you won’t even get market value for your shares: while ACPT trades between $8.35 and $8.50 the buyout will happen at $7.75.
The sudden sale at a discount to the market price comes out of the blue for shareholders who still remember the failed attempt by the Wilson family, the 50.68% owners, to take the company private in 2007. The Wilsons had engaged a financial adviser 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 28, 2009
It has been a while since we first reported on SPAC liquidation arbitrage in January. The battles over MathStar (MATH) and PetroSearch (PTSG) has prompted us to follow up, as did our annoyance with the slow progress at Cadus (KDUS).
SPACs represented a great liquidation arbitrage late last and early this year when they traded well below their cash value at double-digit annualized yields. Other companies trade occasionally below cash, usually when 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 »
July 5, 2009
In another illustration of the pointlessness of “Go Shop” periods the board of Entrust (ENTU) ignored three buyout offers received in the 30-day go shop period that were higher than that of the group that includes the CEO. Moreover, the Entrust management buyout shows all that is wrong with buyouts by private equity funds where management remains with the firm and has an incentive to lowball the buyout price. Shareholders expected an increase of the $1.85 merger consideration, and shares traded as high as $2.10 during the go-shop period. We believe that due to the high level of dissent from shareholders and even a board member it will be difficult for management to achieve the required approval by 2/3 of the shareholders. Read the rest of this entry »
June 8, 2009
Pershing Square Bill Ackman’s presentation about General Growth Properties (GGWPQ) at the Ira Sohn Investment Research conference has us wondering what he is up to. The tone of the presentation clearly targets an audience that is not familiar with bankruptcy investing. At the same time, his financial projections for GGP are overly optimistic and do not square (no pun intended) with current results. We believe that some of his analysis is very misleading. Read the rest of this entry »
June 1, 2009
An ill-advised, persistent and costly error among institutional investors and their consultants is their reliance on large brand name money management firms to look after their assets. We had the privilege of attending and speaking at the recent Emerging Manager 2009 conference, from where we return with some very persuasive statistics that show the outperformance of small money managers over the large mainstream firms. Read the rest of this entry »