On September 8, the troubled Texas-based dining chain Luby’s (LUB) announced its intention to liquidate after a strategic review process launched over the summer. At the time of writing, the shares, though volatile, trade below the lower end of the company’s estimate of $3-4/share upon liquidation (bolding below is mine):

While no assurances can be given, the Company currently estimates, assuming the sale of its assets pursuant to its monetization strategy, that it could make aggregate liquidating distributions to stockholders of between approximately $92 million and $123 million (approximately $3.00 and $4.00 per share of common stock, respectively, based on 30,752,470 shares of common stock outstanding as of September 2, 2020). Aggregate payments will likely be paid in one or more distributions. The Company cannot predict the timing or amount of any such distributions, as uncertainties exist as to the value it may receive upon the sale of assets pursuant to its monetization strategy, the net value of any remaining assets after such sales are completed, the ultimate amount of expenses associated with implementing its monetization strategy, liabilities, operating costs and amounts to be set aside for claims, obligations and provisions during the liquidation and winding-up process and the related timing to complete such transactions and overall process.

Source: Luby’s investor site

Insider Ownership

CEO Christopher Pappas owns over 23% of the shares, and his brother, Harris Pappas, has a similarly large holding. There has been no material insider selling since 2018. Hence, alignment with shareholders is relatively clear. The CEO will benefit far more from an effective, price-maximizing liquidation process than a drawn-out process with high fees.

Value Of Real Estate

That Luby’s has material real estate assets is not new news. There was a Seeking Alpha piece on it two years ago, some good valuation work here, and

Morgan Stanley is buying Eaton Vance in a deal valued at about $7 billion

NEW YORK — Morgan Stanley is buying the investment management firm Eaton Vance in a deal valued at about $7 billion.

Eaton Vance, based in Boston, has over $500 billion in assets under management.

Morgan Stanley Chairman and CEO James P. Gorman said in a prepared statement Thursday that Eaton Vance will add more fee-based revenues to its investment banking and institutional securities franchise. The deal will give Morgan Stanley’s investment management arm approximately $1.2 trillion of assets under management and more than $5 billion of combined revenues.

Eaton Vance shareholders will receive $28.25 per share in cash and 0.5833 of Morgan Stanley common stock, or approximately $56.50 per share. Based on the $56.50 per share, the amount paid to Eaton Vance shareholders will consist of about 50% cash and 50% Morgan Stanley common stock.

Each Eaton Vance shareholder will have the option to choose all cash or all stock, subject to a proration and adjustment mechanism. Eaton Vance shareholders will also receive a one-time special cash dividend of $4.25 per share to be paid before the transaction’s closing by Eaton Vance to its shareholders from existing balance sheet resources.

The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of next year.

Shares of Eaton Vance spiked 43% before the opening bell.

Source Article

(Reuters) – Asana Inc

was valued at more than $4 billion in its New York Stock Exchange debut on Wednesday, after the workplace software maker went public through a direct listing rather than a traditional initial public offering.

Asana’s stock opened at $27 per share and closed at $28.80, up from a reference price of $21 per share set by the NYSE on Tuesday.

Prior to its public debut, Asana shares had traded in the private market at a weighted average price of $25.11 apiece in August.

The listing comes as the company’s software that supports corporate teams’ collaboration and organization is of particular value to customers during the COVD-19 pandemic, according to co-founder and Chief Executive Dustin Moskovitz.

“All these companies are moving to remote work for the first time, getting that clarity has become an ever more important business imperative. We’re well matched to the moment,” Moskovitz said in a telephone interview.

Asana was joined on Wednesday by Palantir Technologies , another company backed by Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel, which also debuted on the NYSE through a direct listing, rather than a traditional initial public offering.

Existing investors can sell their shares directly to the market in a direct listing and the price at which shares are sold is not influenced by input from underwriting banks, amid criticism that shares in an IPO are often underpriced. Unlike an IPO, companies are not allowed to raise capital.

“In a traditional IPO where the underwriters may be pricing it at a particular price and then you see a 20%, 30% or sometimes even 50% increase in the stock, as the CFO you’re thinking, are you leaving money on the table?” Asana Chief Financial Officer Tim Wan said in an interview.

“In a direct listing you don’t have that phenomenon