|By Marketwired .||
|July 2, 2014 07:57 AM EDT||
TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 07/02/14 -- Tuckamore Capital Management Inc. (TSX: TX)(TSX: TX.DB.B) ("Tuckamore" or the "Company") today responded to a report published by Institutional Shareholder Services ("ISS") in respect of the previously announced proposal (the "Arrangement") pursuant to which Birch Hill Equity Partners ("Birch Hill"), together with certain members of Tuckamore's management, have agreed to acquire all of the common shares of the Company (each a "share") for cash consideration at a price of $0.75 per share. Shareholders have been asked to vote on the Arrangement at the upcoming special meeting of shareholders to be held on July 15, 2014.
"As directors, we have a duty to present an offer such as this to shareholders for their consideration, and we have a duty to give it due consideration and make a recommendation to shareholders. We have done that, and judged this offer to provide immediate and certain value that is in the best interests of all shareholders," said Douglas Brown, Chairman. "The value of the $0.75 per share offer to shareholders includes the cash consideration, an opportunity for liquidity, and the elimination of the financing and operational risks in our business. No superior bid, nor fully-funded alternate plan that protects shareholder value, has been presented to the Board since the announcement of the Birch Hill offer."
"We do feel however, that it is important to correct and respond to the factual and analytical errors in the market, including in ISS' analysis and recommendation to shareholders of Tuckamore. ISS did not meet with Tuckamore, nor did we have an opportunity to comment on this report prior to publication. In our view, the ISS report confuses the concept of equity value with enterprise value, uses inappropriate metrics, and ignores the depth and breadth of the value maximization process undertaken by the Board. We believe these are major flaws that lead directly to ISS' incorrect recommendation," continued Mr. Brown.
Tuckamore believes that ISS' analysis was flawed in a number of material respects including:
Break Fee: ISS makes the error of calculating the break fee based on the equity value of Tuckamore, rather than the enterprise value which would be more appropriate for a highly leveraged company like Tuckamore. The purchaser of Tuckamore will have to assume approximately $280 million of debt (including capital leases) and the restrictive covenants on that debt, in addition to paying the cash consideration shareholders. When properly calculated, the break fee is equal to approximately 2% of Tuckamore's total enterprise value - a percentage that the Board, based on advice from its financial advisor, believes is in line with Canadian transactions over the past 5 years. Furthermore, the Board does not believe that a break fee of less than 2 cents to less than 7 cents per share on a fully diluted basis, is an impediment to a superior offer.
Equity Value vs. Enterprise Value: ISS twice makes the error in its analysis of confusing equity value with enterprise value. In particular, ISS makes the "apples to oranges" comparison of the attempted sale of ClearStream (which represented 78% of Tuckamore's revenues and almost all of its EBITDA) for "$200 M plus" of enterprise value with the approximately $70 million equity value of the Birch Hill offer. An appropriate comparison would be to Tuckamore's enterprise value of approximately $322 million.
In addition, the "auction" of ClearStream which involved engaging with over 20 possible purchasers, did not result in a transaction.
The Rights Offering: ISS asserts that the current cash offer which values Tuckamore's equity at approximately $70 million is too low vs. the $100 million rights offering proposed to the Board. This is a serious error. The rights offering proposal valued Tuckamore's equity at $24 million, and could have resulted in dilution of 80% to existing shareholders.
The "Auction Process": ISS concludes that Tuckamore's Board did not conduct an auction. This is an incorrect statement that ignores the lengthy and comprehensive value-maximization process undertaken by the Board that began in late 2012. As detailed over several pages in Tuckamore's management information circular, the Board proactively sought buyers for ClearStream and considered a variety of proposals from various parties. This process was undertaken with great care to ensure limited employee and customer uncertainty. The Birch Hill offer was announced on May 5, 2014, and to date not a single alternative superior offer has been made.
Valuation: ISS cites the $0.60 to $0.81 per share fair market valuation provided by PricewaterhouseCoopers ("PwC"), as evidence that the $0.75 per share cash offer is inadequate. The offer price is in fact above the midpoint of the range provided by PwC. The range provided by PwC, is just that - a range of possible values where fair market value may be found for Tuckamore's shares.
Financial Advisor: ISS incorrectly identifies PwC as Tuckamore's financial advisor. Canaccord Genuity acted as Tuckamore's financial advisor. PwC, as noted above, was appointed to provide an independent valuation in accordance with MI 61-101.
In January 2014, Tuckamore's shares were trading at $0.30, the same as the historical average for the last 5 years. Its debt was trading at an approximate 16% discount to par, which reflected the market's significant concern about the serious financing risks facing the Company. The only serious proposal the Board had received valued Tuckamore's equity at $24 million and required shareholders to accept up to 80% dilution and a discount to the trading price. Today, 6 months later, the Board has delivered an all cash offer to shareholders for their consideration. Not only does it represent a meaningful premium of over approximately 85% to where the stock had traded in the two months prior to the announcement of the deal, but it offers certain liquidity for a stock that has been illiquid for years due to the ever present financial risks associated with the capital structure.
On July 15th, shareholders will have an opportunity to choose between the cash offer of $0.75, that values Tuckamore's equity at approximately $70 million, or to remain a standalone entity. The Board encourages shareholders to consider all of the facts when making their decision.
Your Vote is Very Important
The Arrangement represents an important milestone in our Company's history. To receive the premium for your shares and avoid future financing and operational risks associated with Tuckamore's business, please cast your vote today in favour of the Arrangement Resolution. Your vote is important regardless of how many shares you own.
If you have any questions or need assistance in voting your proxy, please contact our proxy solicitor Kingsdale Shareholder Services at 1-888-518-1561 (toll free within North America) or 416-867-2272 (collect calls accepted), or by email at [email protected].
About the Company
Tuckamore has investments in 7 businesses representing a diverse cross-section of the Canadian economy.
About Birch Hill's Investment
The investment will be part of Birch Hill Fund IV with over $1 billion in committed capital.