Company News

Lloyds Bank stake sale

The Government is selling 6% of the shares it holds in Lloyds Banking Group at about 75p via a placing. That is marginally more than the shares cost them when it bailed out the company after the disastrous takeover of HBOS, which many shareholders still feel very disgruntled about.If the Government is selling, should private investors now be looking to buy? After all the shares have doubled in price in the last year, well outpacing most other UK banking stocks.  But ...

Royal Mail flotation – first thoughts

Some sketchy information on the prospective flotation of Royal Mail has been released. You can obtain it here: www.gov.uk/royalmailshares and register your interest. Note that you don’t have to do so via a stockbroker but can purchase the shares directly, which may be preferable.Here are some initial comments and what to look out for when you read the prospectus in due course (which all investors should do before investing):First it’s worth pointing out that they are privatising Royal Mail and Parcelforce, ...

The Vodafone deal – another reason to dislike nominee accounts

Vodafone shareholders will no doubt be aware that the deal recently announced regarding the company’s stake in Verizon Wireless will result in shareholders receiving not just cash, but also some Verizon shares. Verizon is of course a US listed company.Now many retail shareholders may not wish to hold shares in a US listed company, so they might want to sell their Verizon shares. The company has said that they will provide a dealing facility to enable holders of less than 50,000 ...

Vodafone deal details now available, and most are pleased

Vodafone have now published the details of the deal to sell their stake in Verizon. I won’t repeat the details here but most investors seem pleased with it. That includes ShareSoc director Stan Grierson who got a few seconds on BBC News explaining how we will now be able to afford more space on airlines for his long legs – you can see a more useful and longer video interview here: www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-23936013Although the deal is being applauded as a major cash ...

Vodafone and Verizon – how will they use the cash?

ShareSoc has issued a press release on the likely deal for Vodafone to sell its stake in Verizon Wireless (see www.sharesoc.org/pr50vodafone.html). This might realise over US$100bn in cash so the key question is what the company will do with it. Will it waste it on other acquisitions or return it to shareholders? And in the latter case in what form?Vodafone is a company that appears to love share buy-backs like many FTSE-100 companies. But ShareSoc suggests that it would be better ...

Dunedin Enterprise – Chairman stepping down

Dunedin Enterprise Investment Trust announced its half-year results this morning. They were unremarkable. But the good news in the announcement was the mention that David Gamble is retiring from the board, and hence as Chairman, at the next AGM.ShareSoc attacked this company for the introduction of a performance fee in October 2012, under Mr Gamble’s chairmanship. It seemed totally unnecessary to compensate the fund manager in the way chosen because of a change in investment policy, with the risk of substantially ...

Media Corporation – Cessation of Business

Media Corporation – Cessation of Business One of the first “problem” companies that ShareSoc reported on (and got involved with to a limited extent, although it always appeared to be somewhat of a basket case) was Media Corporation (MDC). We first covered it in our June 2011 newsletter when the share price was about 1.5 pence. After various changes of strategy and management upheavals, the shares were suspended from AIM (not for the first time) in April at 0.095 pence, after much ...

RSM Tenon Pre-Pack: an odd connection

ShareSoc has made many representations in the past about the abusive use of pre-pack administrations. In the case of publicly listed companies, they usually mean the ordinary shares become instantly worthless. The latest case of a pre-pack in a listed company is that of RSM Tenon. This company (an accountancy practice oddly enough) got into difficulty by taking on excessive debt for a growth strategy. Baker Tilly were negotiating to buy the business for a rock bottom price. But yesterday it ...