Columbia Property Trust IPO & Tender Offer Schedule

Columbia Property Trust Announces IPO Date and Tender Offer

On September 30, 2013 Columbia Property Trust released a statement with 2 important details about the upcoming IPO.  The first is the listing date, on or about October 10, 2013 under the symbol CXP.  If all goes according to their plan, Columbia Property Trust will be a publicly traded company in less than 2 weeks.

In conjunction with the IPO they also announced a tender offer to buy back up to $300 million of it’s common shares in a “Dutch Auction.”  Details about the tender offer price have yet to be released, but I’ll post them as soon as I read through the regulatory filings.

UPDATES:
October 10, 2013
Columbia Property Trust released the details of the dutch auction.  The price range will be from $22.00 to $25.00 and will be available for 20 days after the IPO.

I started a page to make organizing the information easier, view it here:

COLUMBIA PROPERTY PAGE

The press release for the announcement can be seen here:

View IPO Details

Columbia Property Trust IPO Initial Public Offering

On September 20, 2013 Columbia Property Trust announced in their latest Quarterly Update, plans for a public offering on the New York Stock Exchange in October, a dividend cut from $0.38 to $0.30 per share, and the addition of 2 Independent Directors to their Board.

I’ve created a special page for up to date information on Columbia Property Trust here:

COLUMBIA PROPERTY TRUST PAGE

Some additional thoughts here:

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Link to my original post on the reverse split:  Original Post on the Reverse Split
Link to Investor Relations page: Columbia Property Trust Investor Relations
Link to FAQ about the upcoming IPO:   Columbia Property Trust IPO FAQ
Link to FAQ about the Reverse Stock Split:   Columbia Property Trust Reverse Stock Split FAQ

Managed Futures for Managing Rising Interest Rates?

If I’ve learned anything about the markets in the last decade, it’s that they are anything but rational.  Investments that appear to be expensive are traded higher while those with reasonable valuations languish.  Although I’m an advocate of  fundamental analysis, I’ve been searching for an opportunity to take advantage of this irrational behavior.

Enter Managed Futures.

The benefit of Managed Futures comes from the material improvement in the downside deviation.

Longboard Asset Management: The Case for Managed Futures

Managed Futures are a form of trend following that allows for profiting from the direction of the ‘herd,’ but what makes it most interesting is that it is direction agnostic; up or down it’s possible to benefit.  I’ve used sparingly used Managed Futures in the past, but was never quite satisfied with the performance. Because short hold periods are susceptible to volatility, even when the trend direction was correctly identified, the price movements rendered positions unprofitable. Some companies are avoiding this tendency by holding for much longer time periods than what is typical for the managed future strategy (12-16 months vs weeks), unfortunately, this is usually reserved for those who play in the hedge fund world.
Another interesting aspect to managed futures is the way the contracts are collateralized.  Treasury Bills and other high quality short term investments are used to secure the portfolio of futures which, in a period of rising interest rates (a trend), would contribute additional income to the portfolio while also profiting (hopefully) from the decline in bond prices (as a result of the rising interest rates).
Fortunately, I recently met with a company with a fund that is doing exactly what I’ve described (I won’t mention names for compliance disclosure reasons) and will be integrating them into portfolios in the coming weeks (See disclosure in the below).

If you are not already a client (because if you are I’m familiar with your plan) , I’d like to hear your strategy for combating a declining market/ and or a rising interest rate environment.

Not sure what to do?  Send me a message or ask a question in the comments below.

 

Brookfield Sells Longview Fiber and Timber Holdings

Brookfield Sells Longview Fiber and Timber Holdings

BrookfieldEarlier this week Brookfield Asset Management announced the sale of two of it’s Northwest assets; Longview Fiber and 645,000 acres of timber.

In 2007 they purchased Longview Fiber and it’s assets for $2.15 billion.  Over the last 6 years they restructured the manufacturing business and separated the timber holdings culminating in 2 concurrent but unrelated sales this week to Weyerahauser (645,000 acres of Northwest timber for $2.65 billion ) and KapStone Paper and Packaging (the manufacturing business for $1.025 billion).

The deals are interesting in that they involve regional companies (Longview Fiber and Weyerhauser) and significant timber sale from a company (Brookfield) that has been very adept at profitably acquiring and selling assets of this type.

Only time will tell who made the wiser decision.

The Brookfield Press Release

Brookfield Sells Longview Fiber and Timber Holdings

The Stock Market – Explained

Stock Exchange PhotoMany discussions have been devoted to the question of “what is the stock market” and/ or its variant “how does it work?”  Rather than rehash what others have said, I’ll attempt to reframe the question in a way that I believe is more relevant and then provide something of an answer.  The purpose of the exercise being to stimulate thought and conversation, as well as to get it off my chest.  I’m interested in hearing what others think on the topic, so, please add your perspective to the comments.

As I examined various methods for evaluating the utility of the stock market, I wanted to address it in a way that was most relevant.  Asking the right question is critical to receiving applicable information (good journalists and attorneys are adept at this skill) and it struck me that while exploring the mechanisms of the stock market might be interesting, a better question might be something more direct.

Is the stock market the ideal way for most people to invest?

Admittedly, at present  it’s something of a moot point in that there are very few options outside of the stock market to legally, cost effectively invest, especially retirement funds, but I believe it’s worth exploring.  Sure, there are other ways of creating wealth, such as business and real estate, but in reality all are all variations on the same theme: the growth of cash flow and assets.  A business sells a product or service to generate profit while real estate relies on rental and lease income. For the sake of brevity,  I’ll limit this discussion to the stock market.

Interestingly, the original concept of the stock market (exchange) is that business ownership could be reliably bought and sold, without the shenanigans of auctioneers.  As with many things, the original function has been fundamentally altered over time by regulation, technology, and unintended consequences. What was originally conceived as a practical way to transfer the ownership interest of business ventures has been burdened with things like derivatives, program trading, massive concentrations of capital, and onerous regulation.  The result is a system where, practically speaking, all money must flow through Wall Street.

For some the “industrialization” of investing might be a beneficial thing (I’m thinking primarily of the people at Goldman Sachs and their contemporaries), but for the rest of us it’s been a different story.  Diversity is almost universally accepted as a prudent investing practice by nearly everyone with an opinion on the subject and yet we are presented a homogenous pool of investment choices.  I am regularly amused (dismayed?) at the investment “options” of most company retirement plans.  Typically they consist of a domestic bond fund or two, a few US equity funds, and maybe if the company offering the plan is really progressive an international equity fund or something really crazy like a real estate fund.  Tragically, this sort of “diversification” falls well short of the intended purpose (non correlation of returns and risk if you are curious), even for the few investors who actually utilize all the available funds (remember 2008?).    It reminds me of Henry Ford’s famous quote,

Any customer can have a car painted any colour he wants so long as it is black.

This lack of genuine diversity is only one defect exposing the shortcomings of the stock market.  Aside from the obvious presence of suboptimal investment returns, there are more insidious repercussions impacting  the economy on both a local and national scale.   As of their April 2013 report, the Bureau of Labor Statistics listed the number of unemployed at 11.7 million. If a portion of the capital locked up in the traditional stock market were made available for local investment, I wonder how many unemployed people could start productive businesses?  According to Small Business Administration, small businesses (those with less than 500 employees) accounted for 64% of net new jobs, yet the 2 primary sources of financing for small businesses are owner investment and bank credit.   I may be the exception, but I’m not aware of many banks lending to unemployed people…or as Bob Hope once observed,

A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don’t need it.

Downtown BendIt’s been estimated that, in the last 100 years, the recirculation rate of money in America has fallen from 25-30 to less than 10.  This phenomenon is present in cities and towns across the nation stripped of their “community” by globalization.  The butcher, the baker, and the candlestick maker are symbolic  contributors to the local ecosystem, symbiotically producing and consuming.  When citizens shop at national chains, selling imported products, they (we) act like parasites, draining communities of essential financial resources.

The solution I propose is a mechanism that would allow people to invest efficiently in businesses connected through geographic proximity or aligned values.  The profit generated by these ventures, both by businesses and the investors, would then be available to recirculate throughout the community, thus strengthening the economic ecosystem by providing stable employment, additional investment opportunities, and resilience against macroeconomic problems.

What do you think?