Thursday, September 18, 2014

Is RevAsia counting chicken before it is hatched?

Came across this story when reading Focus Malaysia this evening. Catcha Media morphing into another name now, Rev Asia is probably at it again - playing with investor's ignorance? It has just announced - well on the 9 September 2014 - that it is selling its entire stake in iCar. Besides the news by TheEdge and several other news daily, do read the below carefully.

The company proposes to sell. Usually, it highly unusual for a company to announce its intention to sell and start to provide valuation on its potential sale. In fact, it has yet to have found a buyer. Compare this to another deal that I had covered, Jobstreet's sale to Seek. It is a confirmed sale, subject to some conditions.

In Rev Asia's sale, it is claiming that it intends to sell its entire stake which in its announcement could probably be worth RM238 million assuming that the sale was at AUD1.54. A day after the announcement of its intention to sell, the share price of iCar actually dropped substantially, signifying that the owners were not serious on the business but only waiting for the moratorium period to be due (11 Sep 2014).

My question is:

  1. Why bother announcing when you have yet to have found a buyer?
  2. Will the company be reducing the stake partially with Ltd owning 22.90% while Rev Asia owns a slightly higher stake of 27.9%?
  3. In the announcement, it says that it is allowing itself to sell the stake at a price not more than 25% of its prevailing market price. If the stake is a significant stake with control, why at discount? Could it be that iCar is not worth that much in its opinion? If a company negotiates a significant stake sale with relinquishment of control, why discounted price? Rev Asia has some well known directors with one ex-head of Accenture Malaysia - they surely could do better. Or could it be to mislead investors?
Surely, with the announcement, investors is made to think that there is value in RevAsia. Look at the sudden hike in price, a day after the announcement.

The fact of the matter is that the value is not real until it has confirmed a buyer. In fact, iCar's share price went the other direction after the announcement.

My personal feel is that RevAsia or Catcha is at it again and just paying an investment bank to announce the intention is a waste of shareholders money. Gain for the majority shareholders, while loss to small minorities.

The right thing to do is to announce only you have found a buyer, not when you think you want to sell, as 27.9% stake is not a small stake. One may not be able to find a buyer especially for a company which makes losses to the tune of more than AUD6 million.

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