Category Archives: Praktiker

Short cuts: Praktiker/Hornbach, Thermador, Portfolio transactions

Praktiker/Hornbach:

Yesterday, Praktiker gave notice that also the “healthy” subsidiary Max Bahr is insolvent and will seek creditor protection. In my opinion this coul simply the following:

1. an even lower recovery for the Praktiker Bonds. I had read a couple of analysis where people thought that Max Bahr could be sold for hundreds of millions with the proceeds covering the bond partly. Under current circumstances, Praktiker Bond holders in my opinion would be lucky if they get even 5% of nominal back. There will be nothing left.

2. It will be much harder to keep Max Bahr as a fully functional competitive entity. So this improves the outlook a lot for the other DIY chains. If for instance Hornbach could get 10-20% of Praktikers business, this might turn into nice growth. I am therefore quite surprised that the Hornbach shares didn’t react on this news. I personally think that there is a good chance to see a “Schlecker” effect. Schlecker had a higher market share compared to Praktiker, but according to this article, competitors DM and Rossmann saw sales jumping +14 to +16%. A lot of this increase is sales per existing square meter, so I assume with a nice profitability.

I think Hornbach at the moment provides a good risk/return relationship. The had a rather bad last quarter due to the ugly weather. Based on personal observations, I assume that the made up for that in the current quarter plus tailwinds from the Praktiker bancruptcy make me positive about the shares.

Thermador

Thermador issued half year numbers a few days ago, here and here.

Clearly, 2013 will be a difficult year for them. But as the already mentioned after Q1, Q2 was already relatively seen much better than Q1 (sales down -5.2% against 2012 vs. -8.7% in Q1). Profitability is clearly lower, but all in all I think they are still doing quite well. I would have hoped that the stock price might go down a little bit in order to add to my half position, but it seems not to be the case right now.

Portfolio transactions

I sold the second half of the Dart position today at ~2.45 GBP. On the other side, I am adding to Hornbach Baumarkt as I think there is a very good chance for a positive medium term surprise despite all the issues. I will increase from currently 3.7% of the portfolio to a “full” 5%.

Praktiker bond – sell on bad news ?

Yesterday, Praktiker held its annual shareholder’s meeting in Hamburg. Unfortunately, I could not attend,but it seems to have been prime time entertainment for everyone who attended.

Some very lively articles about Praktiker can be found here and here.

The story is quite interesting, Austrian shareholders, representing 15% had a majority in the meeting, as less than 30% of shareholders were attending. At first, they opposed the plan of the management to first increase the share capital and then bring in US Investor Anchorage with a “super senior loan” and pledging its most valuable subsidiary, max Bahr against the loan.

As a response, management told shareholders that they will go directly into bankruptcy protection i shareholders don’t agree.

At the end, the shareholders seem to have approved the plan to bring in Anchorage after a capital increase.

Among my many posts about this interesting situation, especially my post about the possible scenarios.

In parallel, I have been doing some background checks on Anchorage and the picture does not look really good. Anchorage as a “distressed debt” specialist was among others involved in the bankruptcy of traditional German car parts manufacturer Honsel.

“Distressed debt” sounds like a very neutral word, but the business model of those “sharks” is relatively “dirty”: they come in via a loan, but they structure the loan though covenants in a way that they can call the loan pretty soon if they want.Once they are in this position, they can then force the company into bankruptcy, wipe out shareholders and senior bond holders.

At praktiker, this look like “Shooting fish in the barrel” for Anchorage: The do not only get the most valuable subsidiary pledged, but the concept includes making the subsidiary even more profitable by taking over the best Praktiker locations, leaving the “rest” for the others.

So this strategy even improves the position of Anchorage to the disadvantage of shareholders and bondholders. In My opinion, the Austrian shareholders are “feather weights” in this fight against Anchorage.

Within my scenario analysis, I would weight the “bankruptcy, zero recovery scenario” within the next few years at 50% probability. From what I have seen, the super senior loan will even expire before the senior bond

As it looks now, the market seems to interpret the result of the annual meeting positively, this opens the opportunity to sell the bonds at a small profit which I will do.

How goes the famous line: “You have to know when to hold ’em, you have to know when to fold ’em”….

Quick news: WMF, Walmart, Praktiker

WMF

According to a Boersenzeitung article, for some reason WMF is considering exchanging the Pref shares into ordinary shares (full article can be found in the W:O Thread)

I do not really understand how Capvis could profit from an exchange, unless they already have bought a lot of Pref shares. Then it would be a good deal for them.

Interestingly, the Pref shares now more or less are back to the level of the regular shares.

Maybe time to sell on good news ? Q1 numbers seem to have been really good. For the time being: no action.

Walmart

Walmart issued unexpected positive Q1 numbers today. Here I will definitely ue the momentum and sell the shares at today’s VWAP.

For some reason I do not believe in the US recovery story, at least not for “physical” retailers. Even if Warren is still buying…..It was never a “high conviction” play anyway, although it made good money.

Praktiker

Praktiker seems to have found an U Hedgefund for its “secured” loan, US Hedgefund Acnhorage. Although it is too early to assess, the downside scenario for the bonds would now be of course more severe, however the proabality of a deafult is lower. No action yet.

Praktiker Bond – catalyst event (sort of…)

Interesting developement for my “special situation” investment, the 2016 Praktiker senior bond. In my analysis I had written the following:

Potential Catalyst:

In my opinion, something with regard to financing has to happen this year. So there might be a good chance that the bond reacts positively within a limited time frame if the refinancing package is hopefully finalized.

So fast forward to this weekend: The CEO and another board member have been fired and one oof the supervisory board members stepped in.

According to this Handelsblatt article, a new restructuring concept was presented by the largest shareholder which requires a lot less capital (120 mn EUR compared to 300 mn EUR) than initially announced.

There seems to be a new loan of 85 mn EUR and a capital increase in the pipeline, however no further details are available.

If one looks at the chart of the bond one can see that this was clearly positive news for the bond:

So where do we stand with regard to the initial scenario analysis ?

With this in mind, I think one can now try to analyse the different possible scenarios for bondholders, which in my opinion are

1) No bankruptcy – (unrealistic) best case: Take over within 1-2 year and early full pay out of bond
2) No bankruptcy – normal case: Bond pays out as scheduled
3) No bankruptcy – bad case: coupon gets reduced in second round of bondholders vote
4) bancruptcy – normal case: bond gets “fair” share of liquidation value 40% in 2016
5) bancruptcy – bad case: “DIP” financing reduces liquidation value significantly , value 10% in 201

I think at the moment, it is too early to fully assess the situation as the details of the financing are not available yet. Due to the bond covenants I asume the loan financing might be tricky.

So for the time being, I will hold the bond despite the quick 30%+ gain in only a few weeks. However if the bond goes above 60% without further news I will most likely sell as the intrinsic value of the negative (and cautious) scenario would have been fully realized.

Edit: On Praktiker’s homepage they issued a press release about this.

They talk of ” Vorrangiges Darlehen” which equals a senior secured loan. It will be interesting to see how they reralize this. As I have mentioned before, the bond contains a “negative pledge” covenant which should prevent any pledging of relevant assets. So this will be really interesting….

Portfolio updates – Praktiker, Nestle, SIAS, Piquadro & TUMI

Just to summarize some recent portfolio transactions:

Praktiker

In the last few days, Praktiker came back below my limit at 41%. So in toatl I bough now 641.000 nominal bonds at a “dirty price” including accrued interest of 41.62%. Clean price would be around 40.50%.

Nestle

As announced yesterday, I sold the Nestle shares at 54.47 CHF. Including 2 dividends, Nestle produced a positive performance of 24.17% for the portfolio.

I kept the CHF hedge, Vetropack is now 100% hedged.

SIAS

Also yesterday, I “pre” invested the SIAS dividend back into SIAS shares. Ex date was April 23rd, however payment date is April 26th.

Piquadro

Piquadro fell back below my buying limit of 1,50 EUR, so I will increase the position of currently 1%. Howver, tarding volume is relatively small. As always, I will sell short 50% of the purchase value with FTSE MIB ETFs.

The TUMI IPO by the way has been a great succes. The stock increased from 18 USD to 26 USD in the frist few trading days. This gives TUMI a valuation of 1.8 bn USD, which translates into P/S of 6 and EV/EBITDA of 30. Cpompared to this, Piquadro is valued at EV/EBITDA of 7 and P/S of 1.

I had hoped that the IPO of TUMI would represent some kind of “catalyst” event for Piquadro, but I think at the moment Piuqadro is overwhelmed by the Euro Crisis 2.0.

Finally, the net cash position of the portfolio after those transactions is currently 11.8%.

Quick updates: Praktiker, Total Produce and Vivendi

Praktiker

Praktiker just announced that they will delay the AGM until mid of June. The claim to be in “advanced talks” with capital providers and that they need some more time to prepare the necessary approvals from the AGM.

I am pretty sure, we will see a massive diluting capital increase exercise presented in the AGM. However, the Bond now is back into buying levels (<= 41%) and I will increase the position if possible to 2.5% of the portfolio.

Total Produce

Total produce has released its annual report. I have to dig deeper into the report at some point in time.

Vivendi

“Caque”, a French blogger has commented on yesterdays post. He has up a very very good post about Vivendi, including his personal experiences as a customer.

Also his original Vivendi post from 2011 is really worth a read. Seems to be a high quality blog to me and the only French one I know so far.

« Older Entries