Excerpted from Whitney Tilson’s latest email to colleagues and presented without comment
1) I haven’t nailed down all of the details yet, but it looks like I’ll be launching a new investment newsletter venture in early 2019.
I and the folks working with me on this would love to include feedback from people who know me, have followed my work, been on this email list, attended my conferences, seminars/webinars, cocktail parties at the Berkshire meeting, etc.
If my emails, research, ideas, advice or events have benefited you in any way, I’d really appreciate a short reply to this email telling me how.
We’re not primarily looking for testimonials (though we might want to use some for that – with your permission of course!), but rather looking for input as we think about what things I might do, products we might develop, content to include, etc.
I assume you signed up for and have remained on this email list – in a world in which we’re all drowning in too many emails – because you perceive some value. What is it? What have you found most valuable among the things I do and/or write about? Replies to questions you’ve emailed me? Long stock ideas? Short ideas? Exposing bubbles (bitcoin, cannabis, 3D printing)? A good general article curation service? My crusades about scammy companies and industries? Stuff about Buffett and Munger? Occasional political views? Life lessons? Personal stuff like mountain climbing and World’s Toughest Mudder?
I’d love to hear your thoughts, thank you!!!
2) Hindenburg Research with another damning case of how Aphria (APHA) insiders looted the company via an overpriced acquisition: Aphria Part 2: We Believe This Rot Runs Deep. Excerpt:
- Our examination of Aphria led to another Aphria-backed company, Liberty Health Sciences, where we uncovered multiple irregularities that raise more questions around believed undisclosed insider self-dealing.
- Liberty acquired a Florida property this year. Rather than just buying the assets, they were acquired through a newly-formed entity, netting the shell holders an estimated ~C$5 million gain in 6 days.
- Holders of the shell included key Aphria, Scythian, and Liberty deal partner/insider Andy DeFrancesco, along with 3 individuals alleged by the SEC to have run multiple pump & dump schemes.
- Unnamed individuals bought 242 million shares of Liberty in a highly dilutive $0.001 private placement mere days after Aphria announced its intention to purchase its shares at 208x the price.
- Based on Canadian Securities Exchange records we believe Aphria/Liberty Chairman Vic Neufeld participated in this discount round, along with Andy DeFrancesco.
3) I can’t wait to read the “line-by-line” rebuttal Aphria promises! Aphria says it will provide line-by-line rebuttal to short seller allegations. Excerpt:
The CEO of Leamington cannabis producer Aphria — under siege from short-sellers claiming that backroom deals enriched insiders — said the company will release a report next week addressing every allegation.
Vic Neufeld said Aphria’s response will rebut the barrage of accusations levelled Monday that mostly focused on the company’s recent acquisitions in Latin America.
“You will find all of the 20-some allegations, line-by-line, point-by-point with pictures — real pictures, truthful pictures — on what we have called LATAM asset acquisition,” Neufeld told the Star on Friday. “Every point will be very informative and will shed the real light on the story.”
Notice that the threat to sue short sellers (which would give them discovery on the company, which they would welcome!) seems to be going out the window:
“We’ve got to find out, at the end of any litigation, are we going to be successful at anything? What I don’t want to do is waste shareholder money and executive management time on something that could end up with a realization of zero. So, we haven’t said no but we haven’t said yes, either.”
4) I’ve gotten many nice emails like this one – thank you!
I heard from one of your attendees this morning, a guy who has been around for decades, that your conference was the single best he had ever attended. Thought you’d want to know.
5) Joe Nocera is one of the best business journalists in the world, so if he predicts that “l’affaire Carlos Ghosn is not going to end well for the Japanese,” I believe him. A Backlash Is Coming to Carlos Ghosn’s Arrest. Excerpt:
A prediction: l’affaire Carlos Ghosn is not going to end well for the Japanese. Yes, that’s right: I’m convinced that Ghosn, the former chairman of Nissan Motor Co. who was arrested Nov. 19 on suspicion of underreporting his compensation, is going to come out of this looking a lot better than either the Japanese prosecutors who arrested him or the Japanese automaker that so plainly turned on him.