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  • Marathon Petroleum Corporation A Winner With New Hess Acquisition [View article]
    good match indeed. given underinvestment in stores and image at Hess this acquisition by motivated buyer is the best solution saving lots of money on future branding/rebranding outlays.. M&A is overdue in this sector anyway.. do it earlier rather than later.. stock didnt react because they probably paid a princely sum compared to what Hess really is.. Hess the E&P company is a decent shop but Hess the convenience store has enjoyed a completely run down brand.. they got out what they could for as long as they could but now that everyone has become independent and invest in store appearance and convenience store aisles their brand proposition has outdated itself.. at least in my opinion ... it seems like many of the announced spinoffs arent getting executed.. several sale instead of spinoff transactions just happened in recent weeks.. just a casual impression. capital markets must be weakening for outright levered spinoffs not to be favored in capital markets. levering someone elses balance sheets isnt an issue for creditors. apparently. the overhead cost cutting synergies of a Marathon must also be more convincing to creditors funding it than the outright standalone Hess Retail option with lots of pent up investments to be executed... Spinoffs are often just considered the second best strategic option to the corporate sponsors, after all possibilities of a sale at good price have been exhausted. Most corporate sponsors prefer lots of cash in their pocketbook than outright distribution pro rata to shareholders. Seems like the investment bankers worked hard here to line the pocketbook of Hess. MPC market reaction may be muted because they will have more debt as a result of this exercise than the Hess spinoff and MPC standalone would have had on their own.. this is over the next 3-4 years a leap of faith investments.. difficult to tell where the markets for retail gasoline stations/convenience stores will go.. over 10 years they`ll do fine. over 3-4 years anything can happen. what was the reaction of the ratings agencies?
    May 23, 2014. 06:58 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Brazil Fast Food Corp. Remains Undervalued Despite More Investor Awareness [View article]
    There is now a comic series about Bob`s Burgers... art imitative life or life imitating art?
    May 19, 2014. 02:32 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Anheuser-Busch InBev: A High Dividend Yield Buying Opportunity Presents Itself [View article]
    how are they doing on deleveraging.. the comments I could see thus far from the street is that they missed (as opposed to beating numbers)....the risk in this play is a slowdown in economy as opposed to the purported acceleration. Given that the Brazilians are now in charge here I am surprised everyone is treating the special charges and one time events as if they were really one time events.. Brazil corporate governance is notoriously bad and that is what they teach there in biz schools.. buddy management.. like in BUD... hey buddy.. I just look at their 2013 accounts and what I saw looked highly manipulated and to be enjoyed with a big grain of salt.. or lemon.. As far as I can see 52 billion in debt stands. The once quasi monopoly position in Brazil is coming increasingly under pressure as the Japanese biggies Kirin (Schincariol and other brands) are increasingly beefing up their advertising budgets... Same for Itaipava. My general feeling from living in Brazil is that people are increasingly tired of the Skol/Antartica monotony.. these beers are not that great after all and Itaipava/Kirin are relentlessly nibbling at market shares..The world cup will provide good momentum to volumes...good excuse to have a few ones.. beyond that the tough part is after July 13.. basically Q3 quarter could be tough and Q4 as well. the whole country Brazil is in a proverbial hangover mode.. After Greece organized Euro cup and olympics they ended up paying for it shortly thereafter.. so did south Africa... .. I`d say this is currently priced like a stock in world cup fever and once that luster takes off you may indeed get it at half the price.. kirin only bought its package of schincariol sometime in 2012 i believe. so their market entry into Brazil is fairly new and my feeling is that they are here to stay.. their entry price wasnt cheap and they now have to justify that investment. so whatever BUD says about one time expenses relating to run up to soccer world cup may really be a permanent fixture to doing biz in Brazil.. Number 2 position in Brazil belongs to Grupo Petropolis/Itaipava brands and others.. Kirin/Schincariol and other brands is only number 3... The risk I see here is that the Japanese want a much much bigger share of the market than they currently own.. Heineken is also on a big expansion drive as seen in constant TV advertising.. The position of growing by M&A has its lmits particularly as the market concentration of Brahma/Skol/Antartica is one that in a normal country wouldnt even be allowed to happen but not so in Brazil.. (by with I imply that Brazil is no normal country).. so... the market has a way to correct some thigns over time.. and this is already happening.. other conglomerates expand national beer production footprint while the evil kanivil Japanese are also not to be discounted.. with their M&A driven entry strategy.. Because Brazilians drink like skunks it should be no surprise that others are intersted in this market.. once volumes though dry up this will be a miserable market for all of them.. just like what gave rise originally to wave of consolidation in 1990s and 2000s.. At a recently brewery visit to the Bohemia brewery in Petropolis (owned by Bud now) I was surprise to learnt that this brewery (microbrewery) had been mothballed for the longest time during the 2000s.. They made now a beer museum out of it.. point is.. lots of breweries at one point have been mothballed or restructured.. and its just as easy to put them back online.. This competitor that is 100% nationally owned provides good insights as to evolving plant footprint.. and production response to attractive prices..
    I would not be surprised to see a beer war down the road or if the parties in the market in any way are colluding to keep up prices artificially high, then I do expect Cade to go down on them hard once they discover.. There is no practical reasons for beer prices in Brazil being absurdly high.. other than by market manipulation of some sorts.. just providing here a few iterations for potential risks in one of the 4 core markets that over the last 10 years has seen rather benign competitive landscape.. People though over time catch up with the marketing tricks and become better... and spend more advertising dollars and do more creative point of sale merchandising... Itaipava is certainly winning more sympathies with their whole marketing and commercialization strategy.. And it is a national strategy after all. Devassa/Schincariol of Kirin have a lesser market profile at this point.. but no doubt, these guys are marketing savvy too.. and this is just a rationale for saying.. marketing expenses will continue to run high... if things get worse there will be be lacking price discipline to gain market share and this would be the start of the Beer wars... beer prices have more than doubled just in the 6 years that I actually live in Brazil.. so I am just a fond believer that this pendulum can easily swing back.. the overall market volumes can stay the same. the ultimate question is simply who gets them.. For a market entrant like Kirin, its fair to say that they are just figuring out what percentage they want of this market over what time frame.. The are a surprisingly long term thinking company.. and by goign for number 3, the are effectively tellign everyone that effectively they are looking to expand whatever that Schincariol company has previously been doing (Beer and Soda)..... What I can tell about Brazil retail behavior is that with the right brand strategy, anything is possible.. I have seen that in the margerine and soy oil market where a once dominant firm (Bunge) was quickly tossed out of leading market shares and into distant position..on the back of one company figuring how to better manage the brand part of that vertical. BUD has spent a lot of money introducing the Budweiser Brand to Brazil but I dont think that this is catchign on in any way at the point of consumption and neither at the point of retail as far as I can tell. This may be a vanity strategy of introducing a so called premium brand to a market full of paupers that are just happy to drink the run of the mill skol and antartica brands.. Skol has introduced a news specialty brew just for the soccer world cup that supposedly is made from wheat that is grown on the farm where the Brazilian soccer team is training.. I havent seen this beer on retail shelves anywhere.. it may be a mere marketing ploy to make people feel good.. the beer brand may actually not exist as such.. although that woudl be very devious thinking... The beer is called something related to the Granja Comary... long story short, these guys are spending lots of money on vanity projects that would seem to be designed to keep market shares and mind share by monopolizing air-time on TV.. even though Budweiser and Comary specialty beers are hard to find in retail settings..on the conference call they conveniently say its one time expenses.... onetime because if they dont absorb the airtime themselves, then Itaipava and Kirin will whack them.. That is what I see going on here in an irreverent perspective of the Brazil market. there is no point to stuff the market with ficticious premium products that nobody will buy.. i`d be very eager to see a detailed Brazil product and volume breakdown across different sub-brands just as a benchmark test of how well they are doing in their market share defense strategies.. their promotional activities also have to be watched.. I am not sufficiently attuned as to what they do to keep the points of retail happy.. And I am not sufficiently familiar with what triggers typically beer wars and how beer warfare is played.. all you need is people willing to play ball. I think the japanese are more than up to expand volumes to get their fair share of investment return. ceteris paribus, Brasilian consumers will thank them by guzzling same quantities at the now cheaper price.. once we hear about factory layoffs at ambev brazil it would e time to man the lifeboats..Also watch the insiders for particular selling patterns.. insiders may very well be committed to the company in the really long term. but they may not hold all paper through a prolonged market share battle.. That evidently the Brazilians will know much better than everyone else.. trading on insider information is really a cavalier delict in Brazil.. I havent see anyoen ever go on prison for it.. although I have one account of the first insider trading prosecution by CVM that was written into a Wall Street type novel.. Thus as a signal effect I would pay close attention as to what Brazilian insiders are doing at Ambev.. do they talk the talk and walk the walk or not? Just a few considerations to keep in mind as evolving risk factors to consider. affecting one of their 4 core markets and actually the only one to which I have actual market insights by keeping my eyes open as to what i see on TV, on retail shelves, in bars and reading local financial newspapers with M&A and plant expansion commentaries.. cheers and good luck with Bud.. not my type of investment for now..
    May 13, 2014. 07:03 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Ebix's (EBIX) CEO Robin Raina on Q1 2014 Results - Earnings Call Transcript [View article]
    Another contrarian M&A call.. buy the deal that falls apart (EBIX in JUne 2013) for not so instant 60% upside in something less than 11 months.. I guess the company is not falling apart.. there certainly wasnt a presence of the shorts during the conference call.. Eery silence despite all the greatly espoused opinion of all alleged wrong doings... Really reminds me of Schick dental software company that was dogged forever by the annihilating threat of lawsuits. (legal espenses also not going away but in context of a much much smaller company) and eventually Schick morphed itself via merger into the much larger Sirona Dental.. and honestly I have never heard again from the Schick shorts.. not one word. Shorting the wrong company can cost you very dearly... Unlimited loss potential... Another convincing conference call by EBIX... caching...
    May 10, 2014. 01:04 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Kinder Morgan Too Large To Restructure? [View article]
    Buy Phos.. this one has definitely bottomed out.. 4-5 MM market cap. 50 MM equity.. will some buyer please show me the money.. either they file for chapter 11 or its a 5 bagger... this one started as a yield pig as well with special dividends sometime in 2007... 30-40 dollar share price and everybody loved it.. now at 60-80 cents.. tough love. where are the buyers now, after lots of shares been puked out.. green shoots anyone?
    Apr 11, 2014. 02:05 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Contrarian M&A: A Deal That Falls Apart For The Right Reasons Is A Good Deal To Buy [View instapost]
    now at 7 MYR with record volume.. must be some new deal in the works just judging by volume on 1 day..
    Mar 25, 2014. 11:19 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Contrarian M&A: A Deal That Falls Apart For The Right Reasons Is A Good Deal To Buy [View instapost]
    6 MYR... for MISC...have to adjust this performance for development in malay ringit which I havent tracked recently..
    Feb 1, 2014. 10:24 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Contrarian M&A: A Deal That Falls Apart For The Right Reasons Is A Good Deal To Buy [View instapost]
    most definitely something i take a look at .. thanks for bringing it up. i was just printing myself this afternoon all the Q3 results of MISC and indeed its looking very bright there and also with my other Malay centric stories Murphy Oil and its spinoff Murphy USA. This latter one is not malay centric.

    Luckily I havent been slavishly following arbitrage at this point.. its too time consuming for the return you get by playing it in a non-alternative way.. my general impression is that more and more deals are falling apart which is just a reflection of where we stand in the cycle. easy money.. lots of frivolous deals being done that shouldn't be done.

    Graincorp assets are particularly nice as reportedly port capacity is only around 30-35% utilized. A key bottleneck in Australia is the train logistics which is underinvested and ownership by lots of mining firms. so port access to grain is tough because of rail infrastructure. meaning lots of quality deterioration till product even gets to port. Graincorp should be able to do very well on its own once they figure out the rail logistics, which wasnt something ADM wasnt even willing to get involved.. So.. great day for Australia to scuttle a bad deal. better day even for untarnished lovers of the Graincorp story. you really have to be an ignoramus to play arbitrage in the traditional way. small spread and get whacked on the supposed pre-science and omni-science espoused to clients. Been there, done that advising clients who thought that this was all that was to it.. and never again.

    Graincorp was the story with 60-80 cent upside and it turns out now 4 bucks downside.. looks like a favorable risk reward to me.. assymetrically so, to use this abused word... i even smell margin of safety. casino type margin of safety.

    I would frankly call it a top in value investing precisely because too many smartypants have been using words like "margin of safety" and "assymetrically favorable risk reward" without keen regard to real risks and real opportunity. Guys like Whitney Tilson command lots of "respect" in the value investors trade community, but its really really tough to know why that should be so when reviewing actual investment calls made.. calling it thus a market top in asinine investment strategies such as traditional risk arbitrage and market top in "value investing".

    The word special situations in and of itself is abused. Everything has become a special situation. Especially failed arbitrage investments.

    Contrarian signal apart... real disciplined Value Investing is so out of favor that Value Line recently renamed itself EULAV Asset Management inverting the letters in their name.. Go Value Line!. That is one publication I still respect when it comes to value investing.

    With regards to Graincorp, they bargained hard for the price they wanted to be sold for which was already one price detached from current earnings.. Its not an insult for this type of company to be trading temporarily sub 10 bucks because a bumper harvest in Russia does affect grain prices in Australia. its not like record profits are repeatable in this biz.. With the amount of infrastructure bottlenecks that exist in grain shipping domestically in Australia, the real margin of safety on this investment could come in when they figure out rail infrastructure over next 5-8 years. You bet that the Chinese will be most interested in investing in Rail. Genesee & Wyoming is exposed in no small part to Australian rail. The rediscovery of Australian Ag sector by Australians makes a lot of sense and there is no value add here by the tax arbitrageurs ADM. Zero. I think ADM was willing to invest like 200 MM in rail. chump change. that is why Aussies did what they had to do. Chinese rail projects should be watched here for signs of eventually more volume through Aussie ports.
    Nov 29, 2013. 12:22 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Brazil Fast Food Company Insiders' Ridiculous Offer To Take The Company Private [View article]
    For a going private this one has also been put to an extra speedy shareholder vote. Deregeristing with SEC evidently was the first step to have it their way. This stealth shareholder vote set on a Brazil public holiday is just more injury to insult of the real moral character kind as referenced above. I wonder how this would fly theoretically with a local Brazil magistrate if shareholder vote is set on a public holiday? For strict tecnical reasons would this be enforceable? I know it was a weekday in US, but the company is still Brazil incorporated and it was a public holiday in the jurisdiction where it matters. this wouldn't fly in US, setting a special shareholder meeting on Thanksgiving Day... i am curious to see the balloting results on this. What number of shares were present. How narrowly it all was.
    Nov 22, 2013. 10:24 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Brazil Fast Food Company Take Private Offer Voted Down By Shareholders [View article]
    By the way it is also a complete outrage to set the shareholder meeting on the exact date of a national public holiday in Brazil. I was eager to go to shareholder meeting but not on a public holiday when all office buildings are closed. Its totally reasonable to assume that a shareholder meeting convened on a public holiday was a complete sham, other than to the virtual voting and proxy participants. Because Brazilian press is actively following Bobs one has to assume that there are significant numbers of Brazilian nationals through offshore accounts who hold stock in the company. Evidently, by chosing a public holiday for the shareholder vote that is an evident attempt to trick a large group of shareholders who may simply not think about it, because they planned for a prolonged holiday or got distracted with the typical Feriadao hoopla that goes on during public holidays. The public holiday that was celebrated was Dia de la Consciencia Negra (Brazilian version of Martin Luther King Day, and remembering all the struggles of slaves to eventual liberty). .
    Nov 22, 2013. 10:12 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Brazil Fast Food Company Insiders' Ridiculous Offer To Take The Company Private [View article]
    why? technically speaking for the signal of distrust the current actions speak for.. shareholders have no reason to trust a management team fiddling around in the cookie jar. no matter how you justify it on an EPS basis.

    I met here about 2 year ago with an investment banker here in Rio whose name I better dont mention here and this fellow at the time told me that they were were suggesting to BOBS to go private.. I have absolutely no doubts in my mind that BOBS management has been working in a very concerted effort with this American banker in the past 2 years to take this thing private.

    I think the great series of articles that Jason Rivera wrote and those of others put the spotlight back onto the company. But I have no doubt that the original intention of going dark and deregistering was a carefully planned out event and the managers of BOBS would have been just happy if the stock had remained at 8 instead of going to 16. The stock prior to going dark was at 12.

    This bobs community is full with some IR shills and fakos sending little anonymous messages and I have no doubt that its IR/PR miniions.

    Unfortunately you cannot teach ethics to an investment banker (as they are just guns for hire that work not for minority investors but for the sponsoring agents, the LBO managers and financial backers)..

    long story short, this going private is a carefully managed long planned out inside job. For anyone whose wondered whether the going dark was a good or bad thing, these types of moves always split the shareholder base.. this is why I call this an attrition war.

    I will read the going private proxy document in full details and if it doesnt match up with my reality of inside accounts of events I will file a complaint with the SEC naming names of bankers having previously contacted BOBS management to discuss going private.

    These guys are screwing shareholders in a major way. dont focus on what you know such as EPS and impact of 1 million fee. focus on what you cant know and what is being withheld from you.

    BOBS as a company could have attracted a much larger insitutional audience but tehy did nothing to even encourage normal shareholder relations, such as giving institutions face time to learn about company etc. It would be very easily possible for this company to actually hold shareholder meetings in New York or other money center that would attract some interested member of the shareholder base but this is not what they have ever had in mind.

    The reason why I believe this could have technical downside is the short term disagreements within shareholde base such moves create.. 12% of the 26% will be in favor of deal while 14% against. the 12% not committed to BOBS beyond 15.50 might be voting with their feet. The illiquidity of the stock wouldnt speak for it.

    the trading provide could be a bit like McRae who is a fine and otherwise nice companies but when going dark was completed, the stock went from 12 to 6 bucks as remaining holders debated whether to hold on or dump the name. and from the 6 buck level the stock when to 24. This is actually my largest holding FYI... The going dark impact has very different impact on different companies and M&A deals not being completed also.. I wouldnt forego here any conclusion. the downside is a possibility. if its 11, 13, 15 is anyone's best guess. One would have to look at enough buyout-failure type curves.. overlaying the post deal hangover curves of different companies with different financial profiles.. I certainly wouldnt generalize here.

    My view here is NOT TO TENDER and NOT TO APPROVE THE DEAL. This will however create this situation where Management has been caught with the hand in the cookie jar and you and technically remove them... All the comments I have seen here are at this point not focusing on giving credit to management for operational progress but they are focused on the fat that the price clearly is not right.

    Also considering in the Price is Definitely not Right argument is the fact that BOBS is just now slowly embarking on a vertical integration strategy in areas where they can such as Ice-cream/Yoghurt formulations. They cant verticially integrate into hamburger paddies but they are doing what they can in areas where they can add immediate value and this process evidently has just started and the managers are extremely tightlipped about it and I perfectly understand why because they simply do not want to share the benefits with outside shareholders..


    NO, NO, NO, NO NO, and if the wrong arguments as to buyout background are advanced i will evidently file a complaint providing my insight of background history..

    Unfortunately the Brazilian business scene is full of these machinations. Investment bankers who drink too much at parties and feel good about fleecing legit shareholder interests and they they hide behind anonymous social profile IDs because that is good business policy..

    This story reminds me very much of the long and drawn out going private of Velcro Industries where Kahn Brothers was involved as principal catalyst to get higher value over time.

    The policy to any buyout proposal that came along was JUST SAY NO.. and Velcro kept growing on its own and eventually as the Velcro controllers ended up controlling 92% a final buyout agreement was reached maybe some 10-12 years after the first buyout attempt was made at a totally insulting price.

    Velcro shareholders were patently unhappy that Velcro controllers didnt consider selling out to 3M or such other company that had shown interest in them.

    The more I look at all these minority shareholder screw jobs the more I think minority shareholders such as us should contribute to a negative database of all these business managers and insiders to lend their names to these inside screw jobs. There is a need to alert the investment public of these scourges... So by the time these wizards are ready to relaunch their companies in a glitzy IPO or strategic buyers are willing to pay the wrong price for assets in a private sale they have one more due diligence account to go by.. .. Can you teach an old dog new tricks? No. Can you castrate the dog to make sure there is no more unneeded offspring. Yes.

    Time to set up the website. CastratedShareholderRa...

    The biggest annual honor you could earn on this site is the Golden Dildo award for sticking it nicely to shareholders. Admittedly some folks will have a better way to stick it to them and BOBS management would not earn the screw job of the year award. its too fine a value disagreement argument. The real bad screw jobs look different. Here you can argue whether value is 13 bucks or 22, based on different reasoning.

    But the principle that it is a screw job nevertheless seems universally recognized by the minority shareholders blogging here.

    I havent seen one yet who cheered this even as the greatest thing happening. The only folks who congratulated me on this name are institutional folks I pampered over 10 years that didnt invest 1 single share in the name but remembered the name nevertheless.

    Really weird.

    So Bobs gets a nomination for the 2013 Golden Dildo award but I am pretty sure that there are better inside screw jobs worth documenting. The focus would be on managers taking over worthwhile franchises at a pittance of a price.

    Sort of like all the ongoing DVL Inc (DVLN) ruminations for 10-13 years running. These guys at DVLN are in for the Screw Job of the Decade award. its very important to round up expecutives and bankers in charge of implementing and masterminding screw-jobs so people dont just get away with impunity.

    relating to BOBS I have seen lots of cheering always for management share buybacks but all these buybacks could have been corporate share buybacks and we kind of understand now where this is all leading to. .It is leading towards well crafted inside job that has been engineered for more than 2 years according to these statements of American investment banker that I dismissed at the time as not being real. . I deemed it not real because I had my eyes on BOBS as a franchising system with 2000-2500 units in their system and not getting screwed when they barely crossed the 1050 level which is already an achievement after having started at around 400 points of sale 10 years ago when I first looked a them.

    The timing of this is very opportunitistic and has been long long in the works..

    I hope this is an eye opener for anyone being naive.

    Now the monitoring of shareholders screw jobs must also have a section to provide awards to reformulated and fully repented corporate citizens who have been found with the hands in the cookie jar but who as they say in portuguese "tomou vergonha na cara" (took shame in the face), and moved onto a more ethical business trajectory.

    The problem I think with BOBS are the ill-inspired professional advisors that instill these get rich quick at shareholder expense ideas in to the mindset of management. professional IR folks and those sort of minions who add ZERO value to our bottom line in the form of dividends but they suck substantial monetary value out of the corporate coffers. Unfortunately, management is too beholden to these leeches, thinking that they cant do corporate PR or SEC regulatory filings without them. There are though tons of progressive firmst that dont hire outside advisors to be Sarbanes-Oxley compliant et al.

    so the possibility for reformulated bad corporate citizens exist, although out of the blue I have a very hard time to remember any such case studies.. these would be companies who tried to screw shareholders but after gettting a reminder from shareholders that they shouldnt, they decided to become good corporate citizens and take shareholder votum and advice to heart.

    I am thinking about a dignifying name describing this type of corporate profile.. Maybe go for the moment with the San Dimas Award, San Dimas is the good thief who died cruxified next to Jesus after repenting all his past transgressions. Standing by with nominations..

    After having witnessed enough inside screw-jobs I think its time to get real to alert investors of past screw jobs... This would be stock market Edutainment. How many of these screw artist actually relist their private companies in IPO downt he road is not known to me.

    I have seen it though with companies like Assisted Living Concepts or Chart Industries but these were normal private equity buyouts and nobody complained about value. But the truth be told when these companies emerged from bankruptcy and within 2 years were taken over, shareholders very much got screwed by the eagerly selling insiders... its important to flag and track all those managers and directors that preside over insider screwing jobs..

    I would definetely go as far as smearing the reputations of pig faced business people willing to put lipstick on the pig when it suits them so they can shortchange shareholders..

    Time to put Ethics back into the Corporate Boardroom. Occupy Boardrooms! so to speak.

    Because I am such a huge fan of Ethics, I put my money where my mouth is and just registered 3 nice domain names to give this whole business purpose an actual face.

    Here are the sites where nice inside corporate dirt will be spillt soon:

    Naming and shaming is the word of the game. In today's collaborative and open source world, there isn't a reason why the miscreants of finance should have a safe harbor and hiding place so they can rewrite their revisionist history, however they see it fit.

    If a hedge fund screws it up, it will be covered inside out on hedgefundwiki... If a controller decides to screw over minorities expect the castratedshareholderra... to be on top of it.

    In 14 years in active business I have seen enough shenanigans engineered by these revered executive guild entrusted to create shareholder value. Now its definitely payback time and yes I do have an ax to grind and a very sharp one at it.

    There is no way the finance miscreants should recast their image as it pleases them. The only way you can do this is on an uncensored platform. How many times have I seen Yahoo Finance remove message board postings because it didn't please the corporate interests. Now, according to the latest Madoff related trial against employees you cant even introduce a sculpture depicting a SCREW as evidence at trial because supposedly this is leading the jurors. Madoff was an admirer or screws.. Does this mean he enjoyed to screw his clients? The technical depiction of a SCREW is inadmissible in courts these days. That is where corporate censorship and whitewashing have lead us.

    So, all of you you disagree how corporate managers on occasion fleece their clients and shareholders, there is a business plan to be making money reporting on the corporate dirt that too often goes unwritten about.

    When a hedge fund implodes, why is it that clients are the last ones to know? Why is it that the hedge fund employees themselves are the most colluding parts in any coverups. What happens at Madoff, with employees nicely covering up everything can virtually happen at any hedge fund that I have done business with in the past 14 years. When things implode, the client has no clue what goes on. While the manager cares about his reputation. They all do care about reputation and this is exactly where well researched reports can strike a nice broadside so as to take the foul apples out of circulation and put them straight to compost.

    This is unrelated to BOBS. But it is related to ETHICS. The stuff they don't teach you at business schools but is nevertheless important in the conduct of business.

    I knew one employee at B. Madoff Securities and what is most telling to me today is that this fellow nicely morphed from a known screwup career into a reputable Wall Street firm lending now his investment skills to writing investment banking fairness opinions. at Evercore nonetheless... I wonder how many of these Wall Street luminaries having feasted high on the hogs on clients money actually are collaborating with the government in the ongoing criminal investigations against former Madoff employees... Hedge Fund Wiki would cover the former employees of screw-up firms and where they go in life so people cant engage in revisionist history writings as it pleases them.

    Evidently there should be a very prominent place for the advisors to the BOBS deal to be featured and if this buyout deal has been more than 2 years in the works, this clearly will be documented somewhere.

    You lament the 1 million break up fee but how much money has been spent in advisory fees in the past 2 plus years to get us where we are now. Whose money?.. Its very difficult to tell from the SG&A granularity you get from this firm.

    So pardon me if I don't have a jaded view about what goes on on the inside of the companies I invest. the 10-15 cents EPS is a mere blib on a hot stone. The relevance of this is far larger namely how bad does a corporate board allow itself to get highjacked by some unemployed middle market American investment banker doing very likely completely unlicensed work here in Brazil. This is actually a question that will interest the local financial regulators to be sure because this is a regulated profession after all. So as a cross border transaction involving a Brazilian incorporated business, there are local aspects as it relates to the market for corporate control. it appears to me in a more than casual sense that all the bad corporate practices have been imported from abroad in the last couple of years by a bunch of unemployed wall street thugs, eager to enlighten the world with financial luminaries skillsets.. Private Equity dealmaking is all the rage here in Brazil and yes it will eventually end up in a big bust of lots of broken promises. More so in the agricultural and infrastructure space than in plain vanilla retail business models. That is inevitably written in the stars. Apply the private equity get rich quick mindset to a third or second world country and the net result will be endless string of broken promises, just like Vietnam or some other such places. In the case of BOBS its my heartfelt belief that shareholders are getting shortchanged out of a company that eventually will have 2000-2500 points of sale say 10 -15 years from now and where the economics will look very different than what they are now.

    Stay tuned.
    Oct 5, 2013. 01:29 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Brazil Fast Food Company Insiders' Ridiculous Offer To Take The Company Private [View article]
    Tripp Levy should file a lawsuit also on behalf of shareholders and against insiders relating to the previous deregistration corporate action.

    The statute of limitations hasnt expired here with respect to the deceit practiced by these professional advisors lending their names to fairness opinion however it suits the purpose.

    I'd be more than happy to assist in such a project also if local running around in Rio is required. There will be a local shareholder meeting in due course and I am shareholder as well so we should make sure that these guys dont get away with impunity and with shareholder intimidation.

    These guys will actually be more than happy to have the existing deal fail and pick up more shares at 10-11 bucks. Lifting holdings to 80%¨plus.. this is how attrition wars against minorities look like.

    the Bomeny clan has run a very successful attrition war against debenture holders at the World Trade Center Sao Paulo by sticking them with the short end of the stick. They apply here a time tested recipe and their outside advisors happily lend their names to any such maneuvers.

    Heads you win, tail you win even more.
    Oct 3, 2013. 12:05 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Rich Kinder 'Does His Job' [View article]
    the author of the report certainly gave a corrective statement that it wasnt Kevin Kaiser's partnership being investigated.. Details were left out who was actually being investigated. Nobody on this board took issue with that implication of impropriety.

    There is no mathematical equivalence between the asset transfers between Madoff (person), Madoff hedge fund, and Bernie Madoff Securities, and other involved parties, and the various related party transactions involving KMI, KMP, Kinder et al that go under various names such as dropdown that are not property understood. Accountants and advisors sure sign off on these things. Rating agencies noddingly approve guarantees given. Drawing too close parallels is not appropriate since neither the mechanisms in one case nor in the other are properly understood.

    In the case of KMI, KMP et al there are hundreds of documents available to be read that would help give a better understanding of what goes on and this is clearly where investor protection needs to start. So clearly I would be saddened if the SEC had gone down on Kevin Kaiser. if the SEC chose to go down on a KMP or other affiliate this would seem more than appropriate given the professed lack of knowledge on this board as to what goes on and how much asset value is transferred between some of these entities.

    The complexity of structure apparently doesnt meet the smell test of other observers who have reasonably studied available documents.

    SEC protections have to go to investors and not to the promoters.
    That is my clear opinion by which I stand. Mr. Kinder unfortunately is a co-promoter and god knows with what oversight from whom.

    This reminds me in a way of Aubrey McClendon and Cheasapeake. The incentives were very poorly understood up until the point of his ouster. All cheerleaders were marvelling at his controversial sources of wealth. Undisclosed loans, you name it. No appropriate board oversight existed.

    in Madoff case asset transfers are still being investigated by courts. The money is still unaccounted for after the empire collapsed. There will be a trial involving 5 employees upcoming to shed more light. Forensic experts will be watching.
    Sep 26, 2013. 11:19 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Rich Kinder 'Does His Job' [View article]
    I am definitely not trying to convince you. .keep investing in all those wonderful companies. The investment choices are obvious. Kinder vs. Immelt.

    The asset shuffling coefficient at KMI, KMP, et al is too high and the tangible book value per share is at best weak. There was definitely some of that going on at GE, not because of Immelt but his predecessor.

    Granted if KMI was a 15 dollar stock, Mr. Kinder would still be a billionaire. Since KMI wasnt relisted until some 2 plus years ago, the equity value attributed to this is probably pretty puffed up. Lots of rapid fire M&A and dropdowns later there is more reasons to believe that reality hasnt settled in.

    KMI, KMP is a wall street money pumping machine at this point. Dont expect any Wall Street insiders to kill their own gold egg laying goose.,

    I trust that external events will take care of this. Some of the arguments for that have already been presented. I have no special value to add to the capex and decreasing return on asset aspects raised.

    some of the previous case studies offered in DVL Inc and Integrated Resources had to do with tax shelters where legislative changes brought down the ship.. first, assets were absurdly high. and the legislative fiat provided the backdrop for a double whammy.. some of these LP investors who had invested in great dividend and asset backed stories got nearly completely wiped out.

    with KMI, KMP, the tangible asset backing just isnt that great reletive to debts outstanding. This makes their biz vulnerable.

    so take my offered case studies as what they are.. They are merely perspectives of how things have panned out in the past.
    Sep 26, 2013. 08:45 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Rich Kinder 'Does His Job' [View article]
    thanks for additional case study on 1 dollar CEOs a rather powerful one at it..
    Sep 26, 2013. 07:24 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment