Snoozing away

Another set of belated capsule updates to the stamp collection.

Snoozebox delisted today, killed by the debt burden for their hard-to-place posh container hotel rooms. I don’t think there’s much to learn here, it was a recovery play, which would have likely paid off well (it was bought at a distressed price) had it survived. Fair enough bet, you can’t win them all.

A similar bet was Surgical Innovations, which is in modest profit so far, and not at risk of insolvency any more. An error here was to buy too early, on the early profit warnings. Distressed situations tend to get worse before they get better, and listed vehicles tend to take some time to run out of bargain hunters.

Since the last updated I also doubled down on Photonstar Holdings, a perennial disappointer that is cheap as chips by now. Somehow I think the chance they get some commercial traction for the current variation of their strategy is higher than implied in the price. Hopefully this is the last top-up. Now it’s perform or exit.

Less controversial top-ups in Aukett Swanke and Braemar Shipping, with the same investment case being available for significantly less money.

The holding in quirky Falkland Island Holdings was dumped after a takeover offer for by some entity with Argentine links was rejected on silly nationalist grounds. Too quirky by now. I was also becoming uneasy with the controlling shareholders. Thankfully the price seemed to get stuck around the takeover price even after its rejection.

On the new acquisitions front, we have Tracsis, a long time watchlist favourite that had got a little bit cheaper; Oxford Metrics, SQS Software Quality Systems, while not particularly exciting, seem reasonable matches for our criteria; and Walker Greenbank seems cheap and solid, maybe due to the factory event last year, which was well covered by insurance.

A more special situation is GAME Digital, a UK-centric retailer of video games that has emerged out of bankruptcy. Their strategy to become more event-centric seems promising, and basically comes for free with a cheap retail business with a relatively safe balance sheet.



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