Some Links

UK retailer Next Plc has a highly interesting 6M report with many deep thoughts on retail and Covid-19

A good reminder that SPACs still are bullsxxx

Interesting interview with author and financial historian Edward Chancellor

Some deep insights into an Japanese activist story (Ryoyo Electric) 

As indeed “winter is coming”, life will happen more outdoor than usual

A16Z on “deep” job platforms

A WSJ portrait of the short seller behind “Hindenburg Research” (Nikola)

 

Grenke fOllow up: Recap & Fundamentals (and why Grenke is actually a stealth insurance broker)

Disclaimer: This is not investment advice. Please do your own research and never believe anything from  anonymous bloggers !!!!

A first a quick quick recap on what happened since the last post.

Friday’s written statement from Grenke pre press/analyst was actually pretty lame. I think they made clear that the money laundering and Ponzi issue were indeed minor issues but they didn’t shed any more light on the whole CTP issue.

Unfortunately I missed the press/analyst call. From what I have heard there was nothing new.

A quite surprising statement from Grenke on Monday was more substantial. All past M&A transaction with Franchises will be checked by an independent auditor, Grenke AG will have the option to buy the existing non-consolidated franchises and Wolfgan Grenke will (temporarily) step down from the Supervisory Board. It is also mentioned, that in the future, Grenke AG will fund new franchises.

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Some Links

Shocking news ! Fraud in Startup Land. How can this be ?

In Silicon Valley, “pre-telling the truth” is ok according to Alex Danco

For a change, FTAlphaville somehow recommends 4imprint, a UK based company 

IPO’s are maybe not that bad compared to SPACs and direct listings

A great deep dive on London-listed Hypgnosis Song fund

A very good deep dive feature on Masa Son (Softbank)

Very interesting long term projections on energy usage from BP

Grenke – Quick take oN the first statement from W. GRenke

Disclaimer: There is some real wild speculation in this post which represents an explicit personal opinion from a concerned investor and nothing else. Please don’t take this seriously and please don’t sue me !!!!

Just a very quick update on Mr. Grenke’s release that came 1 hour later than announced (when my index finger already began to hurt from refreshing the home page).

I have copied out only the “juicy” part, highlights are mine:

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Grenke Leasing Short Attack – First analysis

Background:

Long time readers of my blog know that I covered Grenke a while back and unfortunately invested instead in what I thought was the “Australian Grenke” with a pretty bad outcome.

Now Viceroy Research came out with a blazing short attack on Grenke. Viceroy seems to be the same guy that released the now famous “Zatarra Report” on Wirecard in 2016.

This post is a first attempt to look at the allegations in order to find out if they are true and how severe they potentially could be. At the time of writing, Grenke is down more ~ -20% and close to the lows from March.

1. Non disclosed related party transactions

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Some links

When I saw the GM & Nikola announcement my first though was: This looks like Theranos and Walgreen back in 2016. Hindenburg Research is of the very same opinion: Nikola is a fraud. And yes, that’s what SPAC’s are really good for…

Great stuff: Bessemer Ventures has posted some of their internal investment memos including Wix (2007) and Shopify (2010)

The Brooklyn investor has a first look at Warren Buffett’s Japanese stock basket

Preis and Wert blog has a great write up on JDC Group (in German, the other parts of the insurance broker series are highly recommended, too)

Very interesting feature on Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix

Great deep dive on Uber’s business model

A good reminder: Even the best companies see deep draw downs in their stock prices at one point

 

Some links

Even Seth Klarman’s Baupost seems to have lost it with investors

Must read: Dan McCrum summarizes the Wirecard story (so far) in the FT including many new interesting details

FT Alphaville thinks that ESG darling Tomra is wildly overvalued

The event industry is having its “Napster moment”

According to rumors, Softbank has been buying Tech stock options like crazy

Good advice: Save like a pessimist, invest like an optimist

Fred Wilson from AVC has some interesting thoughts on SPACs

SPACs vs . IPOs – Is it Different This time ?

I have covered the current SPAC Mania already in a post in June on Nikola, but since then SPACs only seem to gather more steam.

VC legend Bill Gurley (Banchmark Capital, Uber) has released an interesting post on the three main venues for a company to go public: A “classic” IPO, a simple listing and finally the SPAC.

I’ll try to summarize his post:

  • he argues that the IPO process is “broken” and rigged by the I-Banks. His proof is that on average, IPO’s are “Popping”  ~20% on the first day of trading which means that this difference, multiplied by the number of shares placed, is “stolen” from the previous owners (i.e. himself as a VC)
  • on top of that, companies have to pay IPO fees
  • The reason is that banks prefer special clients and do not really match demand and supply
  • as direct listings (Spotify) do not allow to raise large amounts of money, reverse mergers with SPACs are preferable
  • He argues that SPACs have “lower cost of capital” than IPOs but doesn’t give any examples. His main “proof” here is that there are so many SPACs now and that companies can negotiate really hard.
  • and of course the way to public markets is a lot faster for a SPAC

Bill Gurley is clearly not an idiot as he most likely is now a billionaire following some very impressive investment successes (Uber) with Benchmark capital. However I do think that his arguments have some serious flaws.

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All German Shares Part 29 (Nr. 626-650)

Another week, another 25 randomly selected German shares. This time, I only found 3 of them to be interesting, however one stock became the biggest position in my German basket yet.

626.Pommersche Provinzial-Zuckersiederei AG

Pommersche is a 2.3 mn market cap company that is very illiquid and only releases very intransparent information. “Pass”.

627. Netfonds AG

Netfonds AG is a 63 mn EUR market cap company that could describe itself as a “Fintech” if they wanted. The company listed directly (no IPO) in 2018 and at first struggled:

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InterActive Corp (IAC) – Some thoughts and SOTP valuaTion

InterActice Corp (IAC) is a company I had on my list for a long time but for whatever reason I never managed to look at them in more detail. Over the past few weeks I read in several quarterly reports of good funds that they had invested, so I decided to look at least a little bit deeper this time.

Founder/ Chairman Barry Diller

barry-diller-1

InterActive is the creation of Barry Diller, who is now 78 Years old. He had a very interesting career. As a media executive, among other things, he created Fox Network, and mentored media executives such as Michael Eisner (ex CEO of Disney).

He took control of IAC in 1995 and finally bought out “Cable Cowboy”  John Malone in 2010. The relationship with Malone was long but not always without issues.

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