Category Archives: Uncategorized

Some links

A look back how Buffett invested into special situations back in 1962

Meb Faber compares investing based on Buffett’s disclosures with the Berkshire stock

Driverless cars’ chances halted by tumbleweed (Paywall, Google for title)

Broyhill Capital likes Sea World

The short case for Union Pacific Railroad

Why a Chinese Billionaire paid for a 170 mn USD art purchase with his Amex

Interesting Michael Bloomberg interview from the Robin Hood 2015 conference:

Fossil (FOSL) – Share buy backs & Management (part 2)

This is a follow-up to my first post on Fossil. The short summary:

Fossil has a good but not great business with some issues, among others the potential success of smart watches. The reason to dig deeper was the unusual combination of CEO/owner with zero salary and capital allocation with a focus on share buy backs.

Share buy backs

There is a great collection of articles on Teledyne and Henry Singleton “available at CS Investing. One absolute gem inside is a classification of stock buy backs in order of usefulness to shareholders from Hedge Fund Honcho Leon Cooperman:

Read more

Globo – without further comments

From Globo’s website:



(“Globo” or “the Group”)

Company Statement

Globo plc issues the following statement:

On Friday 23 October 2015 the Board of Directors of the Group became aware of a report published by Quintessential Capital Management (“QCM”).

Following the announcement by the Company on the morning of Friday 23 October 2015, an emergency Board meeting was convened as soon as practicable for Saturday 24 October 2015 to discuss the allegations in the report and to ascertain the actions that would be required to resolve the matter. It was intended that an appropriate independent forensic accounting team be appointed to investigate the claims.

However, at the Board meeting, Costis Papadimitrakopoulos the CEO of the Group brought to the attention of the Board certain matters regarding the falsification of data and the misrepresentation of the Company’s financial situation, and offered his resignation, as did Dimitris Gryparis the CFO of the Group.

Following the meeting and receipt of legal advice, a committee of the board was set up, comprising the non-executive Directors only (the “Committee”). The Committee has accepted the resignations of Costis Papadimitrakopoulos and Dimitris Gryparis from the Company with immediate effect. Gerasimos (Makis) Bonanos (the COO) has been suspended from his duties with the Company also with immediate effect, pending the outcome of appropriate investigations. All of the executive directors have agreed to make themselves available and fully co-operate with any investigations.

The Committee has initiated discussions with appropriate advisers in relation to the next steps and to ascertain the true financial position of the Company. In addition, the Committee has asked the Company’s lawyers to notify the matter to the appropriate authorities and the Committee has informed the Company’s principal bankers.

Further announcements will be made in due course. In the meantime the Company’s shares will remain suspended from trading as per the dealing notice on Friday 23 October 2015.

Edit: It keeps getting better:

Globo also said that Papadimitrakopoulos had informed the company that up to last Thursday he has sold 42.05 million shares in the company, and pledged 10 million shares under a personal loan agreement with Lantau Holdings Ltd – a loan that will default at close of business Monday due to two consecutive days of the suspension of the company’s shares from trading.

At Globo’s last quoted price before suspension of 29.45 pence, the share sale would amount to GBP11.9 million.

This means Papadimitrakopoulos’ holding in the company has been reduced from 18.67%, or 69.78 million shares, to 7.42%, or 27.73 million shares. Globo noted that it has requested additional details about these dealings, and does not yet “possess all relevant information about their timing and nature.” It will make a further announcement once this information is received.

Some links

Why fully autonomous cars might not be the future

Great post on Fastenal and if it might become interesting again

A long but very interesting story about Netflix vs. traditional media

Hedge Funds and Renewable Energy Yieldco’s don’t seem to match well

Interesting profile of Lei Zhang, a fund manager who was spectacularily succesful in China (H/T Valuewalk)

“Brandtech” – how Tesla & Co do things differently in order to build their brands

And of course, the Fall 2015 issue of the Graham & Doddsville newsletter (Columbia Business School)

Updates: MAN SE & Sold Trilogiq

MAN SE “Special situation”

In November 2013, I entered a special situation investment with MAN AG, arguing that the proposed compensation payment of Volkswagen might be too low and the court may decide to increase it.

Last week, the Munich court now decided to increase the compensation payment from 80,89 to 90,29 EUR. This is less than some investors hoped for, in the past 100 EUR or more were assumed to be realistic.

In my understanding, together with regulatory required interest and minus the already paid annual amounts, the fair value of the MAN share is around 95 EUR which is where the stock trades at the moment.

At ~95 EUR, this results in a yield of approx. 13,5% over 18 months, not spectacular but with very low risk as we can see in the chart:

I don’t think that there is much further upside although some hedge funds seem to be keen to get even more. I will wait and see but I think I will exit the position rather sooner than later.


Trilogiq is a stock which I bought 2 years ago as a potential “hidden champion” and based on very good historic profitability.

However, pretty soon after I bought, things turned south. The official explanation was that they introduced a new product made out of graphite instead of the metal tubes they used before which should replace most of the existing installations. Sales went down by around -7% in 2014 against 2013 and profit halfed.

Lats week, Trilogiq released 2015 numbers (Year ends at 31.03.).

At a first glance, things seemd to have picked up sligtly. Sales are up slightly and also profit is up from 0,94 EUR per share to 1,06 EUR per share. Cash and Cash equivalents are at a healthy 23,7 mn EUR or ~6,35 EUR per share.

At currently 15 EUR per share, this results in a P/E ex cash of around 8. Still very cheap.

At a second glance however, things don’t look as good. The operating result (EBIT) actually deteriorated by -17% from 4,9 mn EUR to 4,1 mn EUR. Only a swing of +1,1 mn EUR in the financial result driven by FX gains led to a higher EPS.

What irritated me even more was that in they mention in this document that only 7% of sales in FY 2015 were the new graphite products. They way they presented it before one had the impression that more or less the majoriy of sales would have been switched.

Although the second half year looked better than the first, I do think that they have some fundamental problems in their business. Many of their clients (EADS, German automakers) work at full capacity and many automotive suppliers are doing very well.

At Trilogiq however, this is not the case.The US business for instance shrank if one accounts for FX movements. Wages and Salaries increased significantly, not really a sign of tight cost control.

Overall it is not easy to understand what is going on because they don’t provide a lot of information.

My initial thesis relied on the implicit assumption that if their clients are doing well (EADS, automakers), Trilogiq should do well. It looks however that this is not the case and Trilogiq does have individual issues.

As a consequence, I sold the position in the last few days at an average price of 15 EUR per share, realizing a loss of -17,88% against my purchase price as I do not have any visibility on what’s going on at Trilogiq.

It still could be that Trilogiq could be a good value investment as it is still cheap but now it looks rather like a potential turn around case which is very different from the assumed “hidden champion” I was hoping to invest in.

Some links

The Bank of England (!!) has a new blog and looks at the impact of driverless cars on car insurance. I will follow up on that one…..

The Brooklyin Investor with a deep dive on Brookfield Asset Management

HEICO seems like in interesting player in the aircraft spare parts sector (jnvestor)

Fundooprefessor with a great post on the potential “staying power” of companies

Nate from Oddball with some very good thoughts about FinTech start up Lending Club and if they will make banks obsolete

A very helpful exercise: Think of what can make your portfolio companies going out of business (Gannon)

Some links

Good Bloomberg article on Danaher plus a Danaher slidedeck (via Valuewalk)

Interesting “introperspective” from Quan (Gannon) on writing a monthly newsletter

An interesting presentation by Frank Martin, a very cautious value investor (via Valueinvesting World)

Watch out Warren, “big (packaged) food” might be on a permanent decline.

A good summer reading list frome Cove Street Capital and of course the one from Bill Gates

Great interview with Brunello Cucinelli about how differently he runs his business.

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