It’s no secret that I like French family run companies. TFF Group, G. Perrier, Installux, Dom Security are just the main examples of these kind of companies.
Boiron SA is a French company which Bloomberg lists as “Specialty Pharmaceutical” company. Although “Specialty Pharma” is not exactly what they do. in fact, Boiron SA ist the only listed company that I know that exclusively produces and sells Homeopathic “pharmaceutical” products. The call themselves “World leader” of this field.
A few words on Homeopathy
As I have covered Softbank just recently (part 1, part 2 ) and as I consider Insurance companies to be somehow in my circle of competence, the news that Softbank wants to acquire 30% of Swiss Re for 10 bn USD of course sparked my interest.
The big question of course is: Why on earth would Masa Son do that ?
Looking at his vision statements, his vision is a connected world via the internet of things, lots of robots, smart AIs and a lot of computing power. So he is buying chip makers (ARM; Nvidia), data companies like Uber, mobile phone companies, robotic companies etc. So far so good, somehow this could fit together.
But a Reinsurance company ? WTF is that ?
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…..).
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:
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.
One upfront comment: I promise to use the auto correct feature of wordpress.com in 2018 as often as possible. However, as I do not have unlimited time to “polish” my posts, there will be always bad grammar and bad spelling as I try to focus my available time on analyis and actual content.
Already some week ago, Swedish based “Med tech” company Getinge AB spun off Arjo AB.
In 2017, the Value & Opportunity portfolio gained +21,7%* (including dividends, no taxes) against 15.6 % for the Benchmark (Eurostoxx50 (Perf.Ind) (25%), Eurostoxx small 200 (25%), DAX (30%), MDAX (20%)).
Some other funds that I follow have performed as follows in 2017:
Partners Fund TGV: +19,97%
Squad European Convictions +29.72%
Ennismore European Smaller Cos +9,32% (in EUR)
Frankfurter Aktienfonds für Stiftungen +13,7%%
Evermore Global Value +4.6%
Greiff Special Situation +11,1%
Squad Aguja Special Situation +14,2%
Since inception (01.01.2011), this translates into +186,7% or +16,2% p.a. vs. 95,3% or 10,1% p.a. for the benchmark. Graphically this looks like this: