Landis & Gyr, the Swiss based company was on my research “to do” list for some time. Why ? Because it looked very much like a “forced IPO” special situation when in Summer 2017 then almost bankrupt Japanese Conglomerate Toshiba decided to sell Landis & Gyr which was deemed to be one of their crown jewels.
Toshiba itself had bought Landis & Gyr in 2011 for around 2 bn USD from a Private Equity Seller (Bayard) who in turn had bought Landis & Gyr from KKR (via DEMAG), another PE shop in 2004. Back then, Landis & GYr had around 390 mn EUR in sales and it was rumoured that the purchase price was quite low at around 100 mn EUR (those were the days…..).
2017 Letter to shareholders for the TGV Partners Fund
2017 Letter to shareholders from Rob Vinall (RV Capital)
2017 Letter to shareholders from TGV Rubicon Stockpicker
Oaktree’s Howard Marks with his latest memo
John Kingham (UK Value Investor) with his leesons learned in 2017
The 5 levels of investor evolution
And a Jack Ma (Alibaba) interview from the World economic Forum
A couple of days ago, I looked at Softbank more from a strategic point of view. This time I want to focus more on the actual assets and a sum-of-parts valuation
What is Softbank ?
Essentially the company at its core is a Telco company in Japan and US plus a lot of “extra assets” like the Alibaba stake, Yahoo Japan and then all the other stuff including the vision fund. The initial Software distribution business (this is where the name Softbank comes from) doesn’t play a big role anymore.
I will now try to walk through the major Softbank Assets in more detail:
- The Alibaba stake
Let’s start with the largest position first, the now so famous Alibaba stake. From a technical perspective, Softbank doesn’t own the listed shares but this:
Fellow blogger Wexboy had a very decent year in 2017
Interesting (and funny) post of someone who founded a very unique Private Equity fund in 2017 (and met Charlie and Warren) (h/t Valueinvestingworld)
2017 Annual letter of the Fundsmith Equity fund
David Einhorn’s Q4 2017 letter
MUST READ: Some deep (and balanced) thoughts on the potential longer lasting effects of Blockchain technology (Watch out Uber, Facebook, Google…)
The UK Valueinvestor looks at UK homebuiler Galliford
Farnam Street blog explains how to use Expected Value in decision making
In the comments to my Kinnevik post some weeks ago, a reader recommended me to have a look at Softbank, the famous Tech conglomerate built by Masa Son. Well sometimes I indeed take suggestions…..
Masa Son – Founder and “Godfather”
In Softbank’s case it makes sense to start with its founder, CEO and major shareholder (21%) Masayoshi (“Masa”) Son.