Category Archives: Uncategorized

Some links

Forget accelerators. Slowing down makes you more creative (TED talk)

Emerging Market bonds are back again and a profile of EM bond guru Michael Hasenstab

Interesting observations on Coach and its brand strategy

Some interesting facts about the Swedish stock market

A few weeks old but still interesting: Bronte Capital on UK banking (and RBS)

Be carefull when peer-to-peer lenders report “returns”



SportsDirect (SPD) – Bad PR but maybe good Capital Allocation ?

Already some days ago, I linked to an interesting write up from Wertart on UK retailer SportsDirect.


In general, I liked a lot of things at SportsDirect from a share holder perspective:

+ It is kind of “Owner operated” with an experienced management
+ Aldi/Lidl like business model (Some brands, own brands, “hard discount”)
+ good growth track record since IPO
+ very good profitability
+ looks cheap based on past performance

Of course there are a couple of issues as well:

  • it is retail after all
  • Brexit / GBP issues (higher import prices, potential issues with consumer confidence)
  • Bad PR (low wages, zero hour contracts, incidents)
  • some governance issues (related party dealings etc.)

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Exor SpA: Buying a Reinsurance company doesn’t mean that you’re the “next Bershire”

Following my Old Mutual “sum of parts” valuation I saw the following Ira Sohn presentation of Exor Spa, the Agnelli family holding (FiatChysler, CNH etc.) as a potential  “Sum of part” value investment.


To summarize the presentation  in my own words:

  • Exor Spa is basically a “Berkshire like” company at a “Graham” valuation
  • Exor is managed by a “great capital allocator” and trades at a discount as people see it as an Italian company
  • After the acquisition of Reinsurance Partner Re Exor should trade at similar valuations as Berkshire or Markel
  • Big upside potential as FiatChrysler, Ferrari (and CNH) are severely undervalued (“Coiled springs”)

The study sees a potential upside of several times the current share price. They forecast a 150 EUR NAV per share (vs. ~50 EUR now and 30 EUR share prices), driven by a quadrupling in value of the FCA and the CNH stakes.

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From the archive: Emak Spa, Sol Spa, Piquadro – The Italian update

From time to time I check on previous investments how they performed and if they might be interesting again. I find  this a very efficient way to create potential (re)investment ideas as only relatively little effort is needed to get up to speed.


EMAK SpA was an Italian “special situation” investment I made in 2011 following an “italian style” capital increase in 2011 and then sold end of 2013 and early 2014 for a decent profit. Looking at the chart we can see that the timing of the sale was not that bad, as after a peak of around 1 EUR in early 2014, the stock is now trading ~30% below that price:


Optically, EMAK looks very cheap now:

P/E 12,8
P/B 0,7

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The return of the “Watch series”: Richemont (ISIN CH0210483332) – Better than Swatch ?

Within my “Watch series” last year (Swatch part 1, Swatch part 2, Hengdeli, Fossil part 1, Fossil part 2, Movado) I left out one company which also is one of the major players in the Watch space: Richemont.

Some might ask: Why didn’t you already buy Swatch ? I argued that 300 CHF would be a good entry point and the stock is now at 292. Well, at the time of writing the Swatch post, I implicitly assumed that 2015 would be the low point. As we can see now, this is most likely not the case. Sentiment at Swatch is clearly more negative than for Richemont but still not rock bottom.

Additionally, I think one should not overestimate the moat of expensive Watch brands. One example is a (German) article 2 weeks ago in Handelsblatt about luxury watch brand Richard Mille. Founded in the early 2000’s they went from zero to almost 600 mn EUR in sales of super luxury watches with a new brand. So the market entry seems to be possible, at least at the very top.




Originally founded in South Africa by Anton Rupert,  Richemont has a quite colorful history.The Group among other activities was into Tobacco, Pay TV and jewelery. Then, in the early 2000s, they focused on luxury and increased their exposure to watches.

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Deutsche Pfandbriefbank (ISIN DE0008019001) update

In July last year I introduced Pfandbriefbank as a “forced IPO” special situation. That’s what I wrote at the end of the post:

As I have said in the beginning, PBB is a simple case: I do think that the “forced IPO” of PBB from the German Government has created a typical special situation with good upside potential. This is clearly no “shooting out the lights” grand slam home run. In golf terms I would say that this is a “solid 6 or 7 iron” shot.

Looking at the perfomance of the stock since then, it looks like in Golf language that my “solid 6 or 7 iron” nevertheless “landed in the rough” with the stock being down -23% vs. -9% in the CDAX.

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