Privatization : The Good or The Bad ?
Is Privatization Good for Investors?
You may find two articles/news of privatization in today’s The Business Time ( one is Auric Pacific and the other is Healthway Medical ) which is quite rare and one might be pondering why so many privatization is going on recently in Singapore’s business context.
If you may recall, from SMRT, NOL, Sim Lian, OSIM, CM Pacific, Select Group, Super Group, Biosensors, Eu Yan Sang, Tiger Airways, Lantrovision, Interplex, Otto Marine, etc,,,, and on the pipeline are ARA Asset Management, Vard Holding.
Sometimes Private Life Is Better
Companies choose to leave the public arena and go private for many reasons. The list is long for the reasons to switch from public to private. “Lower expenses, long-term focus, confidential information, the flexibility of corporate affairs, avoiding exposure to securities litigation, avoiding costs of staying public, and recapturing shareholder value,”
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Indeed, public-company CFOs have many reasons to envy their privately-held counterparts. Managers can focus on long-term performance, rather than quarter-to-quarter earnings. They can have more freedom in realigning benefits packages without extensive disclosure and shareholder push-back. And they can avoid the rigorous requirements from the regulatory like SGX and keep information about competitive information close to the chest.
Most famous people would agree that at some point, fame isn't all it wanted to be and being a public company can lead to the same feelings for its executives. In many ways, it's easier to effectively run business with fewer shareholders to appease. Private companies don't have to worry about what analyst are saying or deal with tedious regulatory filings.
In fact, if recent trends continue, it's a fair bet that more and more companies will turn to privatization as a way of boosting profits and executing a better business.
Share Price and Privatization
Once privatization is announced and make public, which includes the name of the buyer and the offer price per share. As long as the buyer of privatization is credible, the price of company stock will usually rise to just under the offer. In general, the higher the premium to the current stock price, the more likely the privatization will take place.
Note that privatization is not the same as a merger of one public company with another. In the case of a merger, the stock price will usually fluctuate more and may even fall if the merger plan doesn't meet the approval of certain regulation or shareholders.
How does privatization affect a company's shareholders?
This quoted from Investopedia: “The reasons behind the privatization of a company vary, but it often occurs when the company becomes heavily undervalued in the public market.”
Read the full text here ( click )
Another good write-up about “ Privatization In Singapore’s Stock Market“ by Fool.sg (here )
So, does it mean that most of the company which been privatized here in SGX were “ undervalued “? and can you spot the next “ undervalue “ stock which has the potential of being privatized?
Whether privatization is good or bad for shareholders, I’m sure it depends on your entry price and in the eye of the beholder.
So far, the privatization of two companies in my portfolio was giving me positive ROI ( Sim Lian Group and ARA Asset Management (still work in progress ).
How about you? How this privatization wave affecting you and your portfolio?
Quote Of The Day :
“The actual risk of a particular investment cannot be determined from historical data. It depends on the price paid.” By Seth Klarman