Hercules Capital buys Gibraltar Business Capital

Hercules Capital Inc said March 5 that it has acquired Gibraltar Business Capital. Financial terms weren’t announced. Gibraltar, of Northbrook, Illinois, provides working capital to small and mid-market businesses. PRESS RELEASE PALO ALTO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Hercules Capital, Inc. (NYSE:HTGC) (“Hercules” or the “Company”), the leading specialty finance company to innovative, venture growth, pre-IPO and M&A stage companies backed by leading venture capital firms, today announced that it has entered the commercial finance sector through its strategic acquisition of all of the outstanding equity of Gibraltar Business Capital (“Gibraltar”), a leading provider of working capital to small and mid-market businesses through Gibraltar’s asset-based loan and factoring solutions. Gibraltar will be held as a portfolio company of Hercules. Gibraltar will continue to operate as an independent senior secured asset-based lender to select small and mid-market businesses and operate under the Gibraltar Business Capital brand. Gibraltar and all its existing employees will remain
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Z Acquisition LLC to acquire Zais Group in take-private deal

Z Acquisition LLC, Christian Zugel‘s blank check company, has agreed to acquire Zais Group Holdings in a take-private deal for $4.10 per share. Upon closing of the deal, Zais will no longer trade on the NASDAQ. Based in Red Bank, New Jersey, Zais is an investment adviser and asset management firm focused on specialized credit strategies. PRESS RELEASE RED BANK, N.J., Jan. 12, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — ZAIS Group Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZAIS) (“ZAIS” or the “Company”) today announced that it has signed a definitive merger agreement with Z Acquisition LLC, a Delaware limited liability company (“Z Acquisition”), and ZGH Merger Sub, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of ZAIS. Christian Zugel, the founder of ZAIS Group, LLC, the Company’s operating subsidiary, and the Company’s Chairman and Chief Investment Officer, is the sole managing member of Z Acquisition. Pursuant to the merger agreement, all of the outstanding
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Former White House Officials Involved in GSE Scandal

Josh Rosner, managing director of Graham Fisher & Co, and co-author of Reckless Endangerment: How Outsized Ambition, Greed, and Corruption Created the Worst Financial Crisis of Our Time ~~~ Last week, 53 documents pertaining to the government’s 2012 decision to impose a Net Worth Sweep on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were unsealed. These documents reveal a brazen attempt, by a group of former White House, United States Treasury (“Treasury”), and Federal Housing Finance Agency (“FHFA”) officials, to apparently violate the spirit and perhaps letter of the law, exceed their statutory authorities and advance a bank-centric housing finance reform scheme[i] nearly identical to an industry group’s 2009 proposal.[ii]The newly de-designated documents also suggest a concerted attempt to cover-up these actions by misleading Congress and the public in 2012 and the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in 2013. Given
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A Size Cap for the Largest U.S. Banks

A Size Cap for the Largest U.S. Banks
By Simon Johnson1
Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, April 4, 2016

    Proposal The size of the largest banks in the United States should be capped at 2 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Any bank with assets above that scale would face significantly higher capital requirements as an explicit incentive for boards of directors and management to reorganize – and break up – these firms. This size cap and associated additional capital requirements would be administered by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, using authority granted under existing legislation and consistent with all current international agreements.2 Explanation The measure of scale to be used is consolidated “total exposure” of bank holding companies, including on-balance sheet assets, derivatives, and off-balance sheet items for all subsidiaries, as reported to and published by the Federal Reserve System.
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Red Oak, Harbert and Tenth Street to invest in Clarke Group

Clarke Group has formed investment partnerships with Red Oak Growth Partners, Harbert Mezzanine Partners and Tenth Street Capital. No financial terms were disclosed. As a result of the transaction, Clarke Group’s John Duffin, Red Oak’s Richard Erickson and Conor Mullet, Tenth Street’s Bill Nutter and Andy Tatman and Harbert’s Robert Bourquin, will join Clarke Group’s board of directors. Indiana-based Clarke is a manufacturing and packaging services provider. PRESS RELEASE INDIANAPOLIS, Sept. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Clarke Group (Clarke Engineering Services, LLC and Acquire Automation, LLC) announces a new investment partnership with Red Oak Growth Partners, Harbert Mezzanine Partners and Tenth Street Capital. Clarke Engineering supports customers within highly-regulated FDA industries, focusing on mission critical manufacturing and packaging solutions. The delivery model highlights turnkey solutions from initial design, project delivery and validation to ongoing operations and change management support. Acquire provides machine vision inspection and automation solutions to numerous vertical markets,
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Nu Skin’s capital structure makeover

Yesterday Nu Skin announced that they had a new loan to replace the old loan. This was essential because the old loan was about to breach its covenants and an event of default would not be a good thing for Nu Skin shareholders or their management.

So prima-facie the new loan was good news.

The stock however dropped almost 10 percent (and was briefly down more).

The loan terms are onerous and complicated and there are some bizarre disclosures in the attachments to the loan document.

The first bizarre thing about the loan is the disclosure as to how much is drawn immediately. Here it is:
The Credit Agreement provides for a $127,500,000 term loan facility, a ¥6,593,406,594 term loan facility and a $187,500,000 revolving credit facility, each with a term of five years.  The term loan facilities were drawn in full on October 10, 2014, and $112,500,000 of the revolving credit facility was also drawn on October 10, 2014.

They immediately drew $127.5 million dollars of term loan, ¥6.59 billion and a further $112.5 million on the revolver.  That is $309.4 million USD.

This is way more debt than they had at the end of the previous quarter. Here is the balance sheet from the last 10-Q.

NU SKIN ENTERPRISES, INC.
Consolidated Balance Sheets (Unaudited)
(U.S. dollars in thousands)

June 30, 2014
December 31, 2013
ASSETS
Current assets:
Cash and cash equivalents
$
219,501
$
525,153
Current investments
14,227
21,974
Accounts receivable
41,712
68,652
Inventories, net
389,650
339,669
Prepaid expenses and other
180,957
162,886
846,047
1,118,334
Property and equipment, net
429,332
396,042
Goodwill
112,446
112,446
Other intangible assets, net
79,258
83,168
Other assets
136,531
111,072
Total assets
$
1,603,614
$
1,821,062
LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY
Current liabilities:
Accounts payable
$
35,836
$
82,684
Accrued expenses
383,012
626,284
Current portion of debt
99,828
67,824
518,676
776,792
Long-term debt
111,621
113,852
Other liabilities
81,559
71,799
Total liabilities
711,856
962,443
Commitments and contingencies (Note 9)
Stockholders' equity:
Class A common stock – 500 million shares authorized, $.001 par value, 90.6 million  shares issued
91
91
Additional paid-in capital
410,440
397,383
Treasury stock, at cost – 31.3 million and 31.6 million shares, respectively
(844,615)
(826,904)
Accumulated other comprehensive loss
(42,284)
(46,228)
Retained earnings
1,368,126
1,334,277
891,758
858,619
Total liabilities and stockholders' equity
$
1,603,614
$
1,821,062



In the last quarter they had $219.5 million in cash and another $14.2 million in current investments. Against this they had $99.8 million in current debt and another $111.6 million in long term debt.

Total debt was $211.4 and net debt was zero.

Despite this they drew $302 million at moderately high interest rates.

But it is worse than that... the old debt numbers included some debt in Japan and Korea. Some of that is being left in place as per the loan covenant. In quantity:

Indebtedness
Debt
Borrower
Lender
Currency
Amount
Nu Skin Japan Co., Ltd.
Mizuho Bank
Japan Yen
  1,000,000,000
NSE Korea Ltd.
Shinhan Bank
US Dollar
      20,000,000
That is another $30.5 million of debt.

So now - suddenly - the company has $339.9 million in debt - way more than the $211.4 they used to have. The rise is inexplicable because their last accounts showed net cash.

The company has rapidly - and at what was to them a penal interest rate - borrowed a huge amount of money they didn't seem to need a quarter ago and when they had net cash.

And it can't be for an acquisition because the loan covenants prohibit that.

If you have any good idea what the sink-hole that absorbed this much cash is let me know. However if this cash were needed during the last quarter the whole thing is diabolical. Bluntly if it were needed the company is presumably and somehow massively loss making. I simply do not know how. I am a bear on this stock but that is worse than I would have dared to guess.

Two hypotheses:

(a) the company is secretly massively cash consumptive and we do not know (in which case short) or
(b) the company is drawing a huge amount of debt for which it has no obvious use and which it is prohibited to use for an acquisition [that might include buy-backs as discussed below].

But remember this: Nu Skin drew the revolvers. And it drew them hard. Drawing the revolvers has precedent. It is seldom something that makes credit providers happy. There may be a good explanation (truly). The market has not been provided with it.

Dividend restrictions

The story from yesterday was that the debt covenants involved dividend restrictions. This came from slightly ambiguous wording in the press release.

The press release states:

The Credit Agreement requires the Company to maintain a consolidated leverage ratio not exceeding 2.25 to 1.00 and a consolidated interest coverage ratio of no less than 3.00 to 1.00. The Credit Agreement also includes other covenants, including covenants that, subject to certain exceptions, restrict the ability of the Company and its subsidiaries (i) to create, incur, assume or permit to exist any liens, (ii) to incur additional indebtedness, (iii) to make investments and acquisitions, (iv) to enter into mergers, consolidations or similar transactions, (v) to make certain dispositions of assets, (vi) to make dividends, distributions and prepayments of certain indebtedness, (vii) to change the nature of the Company's business, (viii) to enter into certain transactions with affiliates, (ix) to enter into certain burdensome agreements, (x) to make certain amendments to certain agreements and organizational documents and (xi) to make certain accounting changes.

The highlighted section makes it clear that the company may not pay dividends subject to certain exceptions, which means provided they meet these exceptions they may pay dividends.

Indeed the loan documents allow the following use of proceeds:
Section 6.11.   Use of Proceeds.  Use the proceeds of the Credit Extensions (i) for working capital, capital expenditures, and other lawful corporate purposes, including (without limitation) investments, acquisitions, stock repurchases and dividends not prohibited by the Loan Documents and (ii) to consummate the Refinancing
So they may buy back stock and pay dividends provided they meet a fairly burdensome list of possible events of default.

An event of default is disastrous under the new documents because it involves immediate acceleration. You do not want immediate acceleration ever.

That said - and it is a clear positive for Nu Skin - the default based on trailing operating cash flow has been removed. As indicated in past blog posts Nu Skin is peculiar - it generates substantial earnings and huge negative operating cash flows. Nu Skin breaches its cash flow based covenants - and these have been removed.

The only explanation (that is not truly nasty) that I have for drawing the revolvers is a deep desire to use the cash (whilst it is available) to buy back stock. However given the nasty taste that drawing revolvers gives to credit providers this is an aggressive thing to do. [But it is possible. I am not dismissing it.]

Receiveables from offshore entities

The disclosure that caused most amazement amongst Nu Skin watchers was a disclosure at the back of the credit agreement about how much money their offshore subsidiaries own them. This is a list:


Intercompany Receivables
Nu Skin Enterprises United States, Inc.
Nu Skin Canada, Inc.
           146,199
Nu Skin Enterprises, Inc.
Nu Skin Enterprises New Zealand, Inc.
           175,787
Nu Skin Enterprises Hong Kong, LLC
         7,675,959
Nu Skin Japan Co., Ltd.
           620,350
NSE Korea Ltd.
         5,824,767
Nu Skin Enterprises Singapore, Pte. Ltd.
           230,681
Nu Skin Israel, Inc.
           165,000
Nu Skin Taiwan, LLC
               1,363
Jixi Nu Skin Vitameal Co., Ltd.
           430,500
Pharmanex (Huzhou) Health Products Co., Ltd.
         5,432,400
NSE Asia Products, Pte. Ltd.
         8,035,931
Nu Skin International, Inc.
Nu Skin International Management Group, Inc.
       44,301,819
Nu Skin Mexico, S.A. de C.V
         5,672,930
Nu Skin Guatemala, S.A.
         3,488,701
Nu Skin El Salvador S. A. de C.V.
           104,543
Nu Skin Honduras, S.A.
           131,853
Nu Skin Costa Rica
           377,841
Nu Skin Venezuela, C.A.
         6,421,303
Nu Skin Colombia, Inc.
           128,188
Nu Skin Argentina, Inc.
           759,321
Nu Skin Enterprises New Zealand, Inc.
           436,748
Nu Skin Enterprises (Thailand) Limited
           627,077
Nu Skin Enterprises Philippines, LLC
           159,190
Nu Skin (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd.
         1,321,469
Nu Skin Pharmanex (B) Sdn. Bhd.
             30,366
Nu Skin Israel, Inc.
         2,725,815
PT Nu Skin Distribution Indonesia
         6,427,129
PT Nu Selaras Indonesia
           924,291
Nu Skin Enterprises Viet Nam Limited Liability Company
           520,580
Nu Skin Enterprises RS, Ltd.
           283,453
Nu Skin Enterprises South Africa (Proprietary) Limited
         1,163,340
Nu Skin (China) Daily-Use & Health Products Co., Ltd.
         2,207,202
NSE Asia Products, Pte. Ltd.
       53,477,483
NSE Products, Inc.
Nu Skin Netherlands, B.V.
             86,794
Nu Skin Germany, GmbH
           101,827
Nu Skin France, SARL
             27,185
Nu Skin Italy, Srl
           177,788
Nu Skin Enterprise SRL
       12,164,682
Nu Skin Eastern Europe Ltd.
             74,974
Nu Skin Enterprises Poland Sp. Z.o.o.
               8,814
Nu Skin Turkey Cilt Bakimi Ve Besleyici Uranleri Ticarel Limited Sirketi
           597,032
Nu Skin Islandi ehf.
           849,996
Nu Skin Czech Republic, S.r.o.
           217,724
Nu Skin Slovakia
             98,394
Nu Skin Israel, Inc.
           599,956
Nu Skin Enterprises South Africa (Proprietary) Limited
             71,231
Nu Skin International Management Group, Inc.
         2,272,938
Nu Skin Mexico, S.A. de C.V
           969,970
Nu Skin Guatemala, S.A.
           960,774
Nu Skin El Salvador S. A. de C.V.
                 265
Nu Skin Costa Rica
         2,194,916
Nu Skin Canada, Inc.
         4,446,848
Nu Skin Venezuela, C.A.
       23,896,815
Nu Skin Colombia, Inc.
         7,811,575
Nu Skin Argentina, Inc.
           414,677
Nu Skin Enterprises New Zealand, Inc.
         4,010,293
Nu Skin Enterprises Australia, Inc.
         1,316,560
NSE Korea Ltd.
       18,651,855
Nu Skin Enterprises Philippines, LLC
           319,735


Nu Skin Enterprises Viet Nam Limited Liability Company
           224,177
Nu Skin Enterprises Ukraine, LLC
           377,261
Nu Skin Enterprises RS, Ltd.
         4,998,951
Nu Skin (China) Daily-Use & Health Products Co., Ltd.
     133,465,866
NSE Asia Products, Pte. Ltd.
       23,849,660
Total
     405,689,111


The total is almost $406 million. This is large - about half the stockholders equity and the bulk of tangible stockholders equity.

If the foreign subsidiaries have the cash (and it is presumed they do) then they should - subject to payment restrictions - just pay it.

There is $24 million owed to head office by Venezuela. Good luck collecting that. But outside that the amounts should be collectable if the foreign subsidiaries are good for it. There is $133 million owed by China. This might be difficult to collect based on the amount of activity we have seen in China. However if they own the very large office complex we saw (see the post) they could collect some of it by selling up.

But the more pertinent question is why haven't all those subsidiaries been able to pay the money they owe to head office? Inquiring minds are asking. Especially as the company drew the revolvers.

--

Venezuela

The Venezuela amounts are irrelevant in Nu Skin (and Herbalife for that matter) but there is a contradiction between what the table above shows and the management says. According to recent presentation at the Wedbush conference they only had $10-15 million of sales in Venezuela.

It is hard to see how they are owed $24 million by a subsidiary that only has half that in sales. I can't square it. A clearer explanation of Venezuela exposure would be nice.






John

Barnes Group’s (B) CEO Patrick Dempsey on Q2 2014 Results – Earnings Call Transcript

    <p>Barnes Group, Inc. (NYSE:<a href='http://seekingalpha.com/symbol/b' title='Barnes Group Inc'>B</a>)</p> <p>Q2 2014 Earnings Call</p> <p>July 25, 2014 8:30 am ET</p> <p>
Executives

Bill Pitts - Director, IR Patrick Dempsey - President & CEO Chris Stephens - SVP, Finance & CFO Analysts Scott Graham - Jefferies Matt Summerville - KeyBanc Capital Markets Josh Chan - Robert W. Baird Amit Mehrotra - Deutsche Bank Pete Skibitski - Drexel Hamilton Christopher Glynn - Oppenheimer Edward Marshall - Sidoti & Company Presentation Operator Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Second Quarter 2014 Barnes Group Earnings Conference Call. My name is Patrick and I will be your moderator for today. At this time, all participants are in listen-only mode. Later, we will conduct a question-and-answer session. (Operator Instructions). As a reminder, this conference is being recorded for replay purposes. I would now like to turn the conference over to Mr. Bill Pitts, Director, Investor Relations. Please proceed. Bill Pitts
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  <br/><a href='http://seekingalpha.com/article/2343835-barnes-groups-b-ceo-patrick-dempsey-on-q2-2014-results-earnings-call-transcript?source=feed'>Complete Story &raquo;</a>

Q2 2014 Barnes Group Inc Earnings Conference Call (Webcast)

    <p>The following audio is from a conference call that will begin on July 25, 2014 at 08:30 AM ET. The audio will stream live while the call is active, and can be replayed upon its completion.</p> <p><a href='http://seekingalpha.com/article/2340095-q2-2014-barnes-group-inc-earnings-conference-call-webcast'>Listen now</a></p><br/><a href='http://seekingalpha.com/article/2340095-q2-2014-barnes-group-inc-earnings-conference-call-webcast?source=feed'>Complete Story &raquo;</a>