Tag Archives: RHDGF

Exited Retail Holdings, this time for real

Earlier this month I sold Retail Holdings, only to quickly buy it back after I realized there was a mistake in my sheet. Since then the price of the company has increased a bit more than 6% while the underlying asset value actually declined a tiny bit. Since the discount earlier this month was just 12.7% (using a 33% discount on the non-remittance shares) these relative small movements are enough to change the story. At the moment the remaining discount is 6.01% which translates to 10.1% after the dividends have been paid. Given that there are for sure some costs at the holding company level, and that it quite possible that a fair discount on the non-remittance shares is actually higher than 33% I sold my position. There might be a bit of upside left (especially if this Seeking Alpha author is right with respects to the licence fees), but I think the Retail Holdings story has mostly played out at this point in time.

I bought my initial position a bit more than three years ago. Taking into account the dividends paid out in the meantime I generated a more than solid internal rate of return of 20.2%:

 DescriptionDateCash flow
Buy6/4/2014-18.95
Dividend10/6/20141.00
Dividend10/6/20151.00
Dividend4/13/20165.00
Dividend5/17/20172.00
Sell10/13/201723.24
IRR:20.21%

Disclosure

Author has no position in Retail Holdings anymore

Exited Retail Holdings (updated)

Some readers might have noticed that I briefly published a post about selling Retail Holdings yesterday. One reader quickly noticed that there was a pretty big mistake in my sheet (note to self: maybe don’t update sheets and trade while on the train…) which does change the story a bit. I thought that a discount of 33% on the non-remittance shares would mean that there was almost no upside left in Retail Holdings, while in fact the discount is still 21.1% (pro-forma for the $10 in dividends that will be paid in the coming months). It is tempting to rationalize your previous selling decision and find a new reason to support the move, but a mistake warrants a fresh evaluation. While the discount isn’t particularly big I think I’m happy to continue owning a (smallish) position. So I decided to correct my mistake of yesterday, and I rebought today.

I still think that it was a disappointing development that the company sold their SVP notes for a nominal amount last month. They had been written down in the past to zero already, but with a face value of $32.7 million it provided a nice bit of optionality that is now definitively gone.

Disclosure

Author is long Retail Holdings

Retail Holdings sells majority stake in Singer Sri Lanka

Retail Holdings announced today that they have sold 61.7% of their stake in Singer Sri Lanka for a total consideration of $69.0 million. Because the stock was owned through Sewko Holdings in which the company has a 54.1% stake the consideration attributable to Retail Holdings shareholders will be $37.3 million. This is pretty significant news since Singer Sri Lanka was one of the last remaining big position besides Singer Bangladesh. According to the press release Retail Holdings hasn’t yet determined what the cash will be used for, but based on their history of paying out (large) dividends another one of those is a safe bet. With 4.65 million shares outstanding the $37.3 million payment would enable a dividend of a little more than $8/share, in addition to the $1 dividend that already has been announced for November.

For some reason the company didn’t sell their whole stake in Singer Sri Lanka, but they are keeping a 9.5% stake with the option to sell it to the acquiring party within 12 to 15 months. I have no idea why they have structured the transaction in such a way, but my guess is that it has to do with taxes or other rules that make disposing of the whole stake in one go less attractive. Following the transaction the acquiring party is obligated to launch a tender offer for all shares so presumably they want to acquire everything, while Retail Holdings wants to exit. No reason to think that the remaining position won’t be sold in the time frame of the option.

While Retail Holdings is up a bit based on this news I think the stock is still cheap. It is currently trading at a discount of 25% to underlying asset value, which is not that huge, but if you take into account that shareholders will most likely receive $9/share in dividends the discount on the remaining holdings rises to 37%.

Disclosure

Author is long Retail Holdings

Retail Holdings making progress with liquidating

Retail Holdings announced yesterday their results for 2016.  That these would be good was already known since the individual subsidiaries had already reported their 2016 results. But it’s nevertheless good to see it confirmed that revenue was up 16.9% in US dollars while operating earnings increased by 26.0%. Bigger news is that apparently the liquidation of the company is well on track. A $2/share dividend will be paid in the coming months while a second distribution is expected later this year, depending on how much assets the company will sell in the meantime. Apparently Retail Holdings has already started to liquidate their stakes in the last three remaining operating subsidiaries (emphasis mine):

“I am optimistic about the prospects for 2017, in terms of both financial performance – – the individual operations are all off to a very good start – – and likely further progress in our strategic divestment program. Public market sales of additional shares are either already underway or planned in Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka; the initial results from this effort should be disclosed in the next several weeks. Additional asset sales are planned for later in the year.

So the company has finally decided on a course of action, and it will try to sell their stakes in the public market. With Retail Holdings owning a 72.8% stake in Singer Bangladesh, a 75.0% stake in Singer India and a 79.7% stake in Singer Sri Lanka this will take time. Presumably they will also not sell everything at once, but I’m guessing that in twelve months time Retail Holdings will look very different than from today.

This NAV calculation is still using some stale numbers since the 2016 annual report hasn’t yet been published (should be coming in the next few days). Most likely there is now a bit more cash at the ReHo holding company level (they are planning to pay a ~$9 million dividend after all), but since the majority of the value sits inside the three publicly traded subsidiaries it should still be reasonable accurate. Given the imminent liquidation of the company I think a ~35% discount is quite attractive, and I added a bit to my position at the market open.

Disclosure

Author is long Retail Holdings

Retail Holdings update

Retail Holdings has seen an action packed week. Chris DeMuth Jr., one of the most popular Seeking Alpha authors, published his thesis on the company last week and called it his top pick for 2017. The market didn’t ignore him, and shares rose 25.8% from $14.70 to $18.50. One interesting tidbit that he picked up on, that I failed to spot, is that in the latest annual report the company changed their time frame for the liquidation of the company from 3 to 5 years to 2 to 4 years. It seems like a small detail, but no reason to change that if the liquidation of the company isn’t moving forward.

Yesterday Retail Holdings issued a press release with an “updated strategy statement” that reconfirms this two to four year horizon. More interesting is that they also confirm that they repurchased 542,782 shares last year, a significant amount since it represents 10.6% of the outstanding shares. Assuming they bought back these shares at $15/share (probably a slightly pessimistic estimate) this grows NAV/share with 5.4% from $27.39 to $28.87. Too bad that the shares are now trading higher, since potential future purchases will be less accretive since they have to be done at a smaller discount to NAV.

While I think Retail Holdings is still very undervalued I sold a bit of my position this week. When I called the company “my best idea for 2016” on Seeking Alpha it was trading at an effective discount of 61.5%. Since then shares are up ~70% while the discount is down to 35.9%. Still attractive, just not as attractive as before.

Disclosure

Author is long Retail Holdings