DC.PR.E Plunging On Accelerating Losses

Assiduous Reader TS writes in and says:

James, first of all I do want to say that I check your prefblog regularly and do enjoy your content.

Attaboy, TS! That’s how you get your eMails answered!

With DC.A trading at 1.30 now I get a current value of 16.4125 for the series 5 prefs (DC.PR.E)

Thats assuming that Dundee would actually trigger the conversion option at $2.

From what I calculate they can trigger that option anytime prior to jun 30, 2019 at a pref price of

25.25/2 = 12.625 shares of DC.A per DC.PR.E pref

There are 3.29mil prefs outstanding so if they exercised that option they would issue

3.29×12.625=41.5mil shares of DC.A

There are 55.9mil shares of DC.A outstanding so my real question is…

Would they dilute themselves that much???

So let’s back up a little …

Dundee made an initial proposal in November 2015 to exchange its DC.PR.C shares for DC.PR.E, which would pay a little higher dividend and defer the soft-retraction privilege for three years; the proposal attracted some press coverage and an exhortation to consider exercising dissent rights. This led to reconsideration by Dundee despite a rather peculiar endorsement from a proxy advisor and led to a sweeter offer that attracted further commentary.

… and finally, the company announced a ringing endorsement from the shareholders … or perhaps it would be better to say “the shareholders’ advisors”, since the proxy solicitation fee was so high!

The proposal succeeded and DC.PR.E commenced trading on 2016-2-12. Some investors retracted on 2016-6-30, after filing the paperwork. A further 300,000-odd shares were redeemed on 2018-1-31 which comprised only about 8.4% of the total outstanding:

Dundee Corporation (TSX: DC.A and DC.PR.E) today completed the redemption of 303,265 first preference shares, series 5 (the “Series 5 Preferred Shares”), being all such shares tendered for redemption in accordance with the previously announced mandatory redemption provisions of the Series 5 Preferred Shares. The Series 5 Preferred Shares were redeemed at a price of $25.00 per share, or $7,581,625 in aggregate, plus accrued and unpaid dividends of $48,965. Following completion of the partial redemption, a total of 3,294,938 Series 5 Preferred Shares with a par value of $82.4 million remain issued and outstanding.

On August 14, the company announced some pretty awful operating results:

During the second quarter of 2018, the Corporation incurred a net loss attributable to owners of Dundee Corporation of $76.9 million, or a loss of $1.34 per share, compared to a net loss of $24.5 million or $0.45 per share generated in the second quarter of the prior year. Operating results in the second quarter of 2018 include losses from discontinued operations of $1.9 million, compared with earnings from discontinued operations of $4.3 million during the same quarter of the prior year.

• During the second quarter of 2018, loss from investments was $16.1 million, compared with loss from investments of $24.8 million in the same period of the prior year.
• Consolidated revenues were $43.5 million during the second quarter of 2018, compared with revenues of $51.4 million in the same quarter of the prior year.
• During the current quarter, the Corporation recognized a loss from its equity accounted investments of $38.6 million, compared with a gain of $0.1 million in the second quarter of 2017.
• On a year-to-date basis, the Corporation incurred a loss attributable to owners of the Corporation of $101.7 million, compared with net earnings attributable to owners of the Corporation of $5.0 million in the same period of 2017.

As previously disclosed, and as a result of a transfer out of $134.0 million of AUM to an external manager in May 2018, Goodman & Company, Investment Counsel Inc. (“GCIC”) reported its AUM of $66.9 million at June 30, 2018, compared with $194.1 million at December 31, 2017.

This news was not met with applause by holders of the Subordinate Voting Shares, DC.A:

Click for Big

… with holders of DC.PR.E being rather disapproving:

Click for Big

At today’s DC.A close of 1.23, the 12.5 DC.A shares to be received on shareholder-initiated conversion next June will be worth $15.375, and there will (maybe!) be four dividend payments in the interim totalling (maybe!) 1.875, for a total Future Value of $17.25, so the ratio is out of whack, given that the VWAP today was 20.46 on volume of 10,660.

So, basically, the company has three options:

  • Pull a miracle out of its hat – ideally, of course, this miracle would be something along the lines of “earning a boat-load of money” or “attracting a takeover bid made of gold”, but they could always try to get another extension on their commitment and maybe get another rather peculiar endorsement from a proxy advisor, or
  • Redeem DC.PR.E for cash – I suppose this is technically a separate option, but realistically I think it’s a detail of the ‘miracle’ option, above, or
  • Allow DC.PR.E shareholders to convert to DC.A and thereby suffer enormous dilution of their subordinated shares.

In connection with the last option, we can review their 2017 Annual Information Form, which states in part:

The Company’s business and affairs are controlled by Mr. Ned Goodman, who directly or indirectly, owns shares representing approximately 99% of the votes attached to the Class B Common Shares and approximately 85% of the votes attached to all of the Company’s shares in aggregate. Accordingly, Mr. Goodman may be able to control the board of directors or to cause or prevent a change of control of the Company. Under Canadian law, an offer to purchase the Common Shares, depending on the offered price, would not necessarily result in an offer to purchase the Subordinate Voting Shares.

So he doesn’t care. Ned Goodman will continue to control the corporation and preside over important personnel decisions, such as whether Jonathan Goodman should continue as Executive Chairman and Director, whether David Goodman should continue as Chief Executive Officer and Director, whether Mark Goodman should continue as President and, perhaps most importantly, how to convince the market that the published book value per share of the company of $8.70 is entirely reasonable.

We shall see! However, I suspect that one very important scenario is that this plays out much along the lines of the saga of Quebecor World … in which repeated heavy conversions of the preferreds into common ultimately ended with a devastating restructuring.

One Response to “DC.PR.E Plunging On Accelerating Losses”

  1. BarleyandHops says:

    Money Quotes:

    At Parq Vancouver, the ramp up of operations proceeded at a slower than anticipated pace, and continues to be exacerbated by the recent implementation of anti-money laundering initiatives which are having an adverse impact on the gaming industry in British Columbia,” added Mr. Goodman*

    And more:

    Their (the new appointed Directors) combined expertise will be a significant addition to the skills matrix of our board and will help us as we continue with the strategic initiatives which are focused on increasing our merchant banking capabilities in the resources sector.*

    *Quote from: Dundee Corporation Announces Board Appointments and Reports Second Quarter 2018 Financial Results


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