Wednesday, September 18, 2019

What We're Reading ~ 9/18/19

Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber [Mike Isaac]

Inside the rise and fall of MoviePass [Business Insider]

Interview with Shopify's COO [Barrons]

Talking types of moats with Pat Dorsey [Outlook Business]

Profile of UiPath's Daniel Dines: the bot billionaire [Forbes]

Value investing's heady days aren't coming back [Institutional Investor]

A look at Berkshire Hathaway [Morningstar]

The economics of meal delivery [The Economist]

On Amazon's balance between reinvestment and harvesting [Stratechery]

Less than half of Google searches now result in a click [SparkToro]

On McCormick's spices resurgence [Forbes]

A profile of Unilever's old CEO Paul Polman [NYTimes]

ValueAct Sells Some KKR and CBRE Group

Jeff Ubben's investment firm ValueAct Capital has been active in markets recently.  We just highlighted how they went activist on LKQ and also sold some Arcosa.  Well, they've now also revealed two other portfolio moves.

ValueAct Trims KKR Stake

First, ValueAct has filed an amended 13D with the SEC regarding its stake in KKR (KKR).  It notes they sold shares in late July and also now in early September, with the bulk of their recent sales coming on September 13th at a weighted average price of $28.23. 

Per the filing, ValueAct now owns 8.8% of the company with 48.1 million shares.

Per Yahoo Finance, KKR is "a private equity and real estate investment firm specializing in direct and fund of fund investments. It specializes in acquisitions, leveraged buyouts, management buyouts, credit special situations, growth equity, mature, mezzanine, distressed, turnaround, lower middle market and middle market investments"

ValueAct Sells Some CBRE Group

Second, Ubben's firm has filed a Form 4 with the SEC regarding its position in CBRE Group (CBRE).  They sold 3 million shares on September 12th at $53.86.  After this transaction, they now own 10.22 million shares.

Per Yahoo Finance, CBRE Group is "operates as a commercial real estate services and investment company worldwide. It operates through Americas; Europe, Middle East and Africa; Asia Pacific; Global Investment Management; and Development Services segments. The company offers strategic advice and execution to owners, investors, and occupiers of real estate in connection with leasing; integrated property sales, and mortgage and structured financing services under the CBRE Capital Markets brand; and valuation services that include market value appraisals, litigation support, discounted cash flow analyses, and feasibility studies, as well as consulting services, such as property condition reports, hotel advisory, and environmental consulting. It also provides facilities management, project management, transaction management, and strategic consulting services to occupiers of real estate; and property management services comprising construction management, marketing, building engineering, accounting, and financial services for owners of and investors in office, industrial, and retail properties. In addition, the company provides investment management services under the CBRE Global Investors brand to pension funds, insurance companies, sovereign wealth funds, foundations, endowments, and other institutional investors; and development services under the Trammell Crow Company brand name primarily to users of and investors in commercial real estate. CBRE Group, Inc. was founded in 1906 and is headquartered in Los Angeles, California."

Monday, September 16, 2019

Carl Icahn Boosts Hertz Position

Activist investor Carl Icahn has filed numerous documents to the SEC recently (13D's and Form 4's) regarding his position in Hertz Global (HTZ).  Per the most recent 13D, Icahn now owns 30.92% of the company with exposure to over 43.92 million shares (inclusive of 2.03 million shares underlying forward contracts).

His recent purchases also are via forward contracts.  Per the filing, Icahn acquired exposure to over 1.15 million shares via forward contracts that expire on September 8, 2021.
The price per share is listed at $14.73 and $15 in the transactions.  And the filing notes that these contracts "Represents a forward price of $12 per Share, plus the amount per Share the Reporting Person paid the counterparty to the forward contract upon entering into such forward contract. The forward price is subject to adjustment to account for any dividends or other distributions declared by the Issuer. In addition, the Reporting Person paid a financing charge to the counterparty to such forward contract."

ValueAct Reveals Activist LKQ Stake, Sells Some Arcosa

Jeff Ubben's activist investment firm ValueAct Capital has filed a couple of 13D's with the SEC recently.

ValueAct Reveals Activist LKQ Stake

First, per a 13D regarding shares of LKQ Corp (LKQ), ValueAct now owns 5.2% of LKQ with over 16.03 million shares as of September 3rd.  This is a brand new position for the firm.

The filing indicates they were out buying shares throughout August and into early September with weighted average purchase prices coming between $24.91 and $27.49. 

The 13D also includes this note regarding their stake: "The Reporting Persons have had and anticipate having further discussions with officers and directors of the Issuer in connection with the Reporting Persons' investment in the Issuer. The topics of these conversations have covered or will cover a range of issues, including those relating to the business of the Issuer, management, board composition (which include whether it makes sense for a ValueAct Capital employee to be on the Issuer's board of directors), investor communications, operations, capital allocation, dividend policy, financial condition, mergers and acquisitions strategy, overall business strategy, executive compensation, and corporate governance."

Per Google Finance, LKQ "distributes replacement parts, components, and systems used in the repair and maintenance of vehicles. It operates in three segments: North America, Europe, and Specialty. The company distributes bumper covers, automotive body panels, and lights, as well as automotive glass products, such as windshields; salvage products, including mechanical and collision parts comprising engines; transmissions; door assemblies; sheet metal products, such as trunk lids, fenders, and hoods; lights and bumper assemblies; scrap metal and other materials to metals recyclers; and brake pads, discs and sensors, clutches, steering and suspension products, filters, and oil and automotive fluids, as well as electrical products, including spark plugs and batteries."

ValueAct Sells Some Arcosa Shares

Second, in a separately amended 13D, ValueAct has disclosed it has sold some Arcosa (ACA).  Per the 13D, the fund sold shares on September 9th through 13th at weighted average prices of around $34.50.

After the sales, ValueAct still owns 5% of the company with over 2.41 million shares.

Per Yahoo Finance, Arcosa "manufactures and sells infrastructure-related products and services for the construction, energy, and transportation markets. It operates through three segments: Construction Products Group, Energy Equipment Group, and Transportation Products Group. The Construction Products Group segment offers lightweight and natural construction aggregates, and trench shields and shoring products that are used in construction landscape, including commercial, industrial, road and bridge, and underground construction. It serves concrete producers; commercial, residential, industrial, and highway contractors; manufacturers of masonry products; state and local governments; and equipment rental dealers. The Energy Equipment Group segment provides structural wind towers for wind turbine producers; steel utility structures for electricity transmission and distribution; and pressurized and non-pressurized storage and distribution containers that store and transport various products, such as propane, anhydrous ammonia, and natural gas liquids. The Transportation Products Group segment offers hopper barges, tank barges, fiberglass covers, hatches, castings, and winches for commercial marine transportation companies and industrial shippers; axles, circular forgings, and coupling devices for freight, tank, locomotive, and passenger rail transportation equipment, as well as for other industrial uses; and cast components for use in the industrial and mining sectors. The company is headquartered in Dallas, Texas."

Tiger Global Still Buying Sunrun, Amends 13D Filing

As we've detailed previously, Chase Coleman's hedge fund firm Tiger Global has been out buying shares of Sunrun (RUN) in recent weeks.  In an amended 13D filing with the SEC, Tiger Global has now disclosed they own 22.2% of the company with over 26.05 million shares.

Their recent activity includes buying on September 9th through 11th at weighted average prices of around $15.093.

Per Yahoo Finance, Sunrun "engages in the design, development, installation, sale, ownership, and maintenance of residential solar energy systems in the United States. It also sells solar energy systems and products, such as panels and racking, as well as solar leads generated to customers. The company markets and sells its products through direct-to-consumer approach across online, retail, mass media, digital media, canvassing, field marketing, and referral channels, as well as its partner network. Sunrun Inc. was founded in 2007 and is headquartered in San Francisco, California."