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White Mountains Insurance Group, Ltd. Message Board

  • snogreen snogreen Jul 24, 2012 4:56 PM Flag

    John Byrne sold 50,000

    Sort of the Godfather of WTM is John Byrne. He's retired, but owns a lot of stock. On July 11 he sold 50,000 at $528.45..and I assume that WTM bought back those shares in a negortiatred transaction after the close (there was no 50k trading day otherwise!). I wish WTM hadn't done that. I think myself, and a lot of others were kooking/hoping that WTM would keeep the hot pace of buybacks......basically they are taking WTM private, cheaply, if they do what they do for the next 5 years or so. But they've spent $600 million on the new Bond insurer company.....which means WTM has spent about $1.2 billion in last 12 months. And they bought into a Money mamagement firm today.

    I'm out of my shorter term WTM stuff now. But I'll sit with it in the longterm account.

    Byrne sold his 50,000 shs out of a GRAT's one used to pass money to children pretty much tax free. Gueess I don't blame him. He's a good guy. But I think the timing is smelly, and especiually smelly if he knew this news, that I don't see as good in short run.......and he get's WTM to buy his 50,000 in an after hours trade, ten days berfore. This was pretty big news to me. $600 million.....because in the June INVESTOR presentation they were only saying possibly a $200 to $400 million investment. WTM just blew the buyback wad. Bryne shoudl have waited till after this news.

    Oh well....I think OB more interesting now. OB been under some real pressure. I've got no great ideas elsewhere, so if OB down again, and I can get over 6.50%'s better than a money market fund at almost 0%.....just have to buy OB right. I think a couple or few dimes over book is okay.

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    • you mean JB, the SIdecar legend who cost the company 200 per share a few years ago. He should have gone to prison. Jacko, Pride goeth before a fall. A man with your intelligence shouldn't be or was actiong like the Tallywhacker man from OBI. ANother legend in his own mind.

    • If you go back to the Q&A in a recent investor conference you will here John ask a question; it was basic and questioned mgt's action.

      • 1 Reply to mtwolfguy
      • I didn't listren to the call.I just read the presentation. Byrne used to own over 10% of WTM, but with that 50k sell he is under 10%. The presentation said WTM was thinking of 200 to 400 million in new bond insurer. But they put in a lot more, $600 million...and that is a big chunk of their play cash kitty..especially since WTM also used about $525 million more to buy back shares in last 12 months. I was hoping on seeing 500k to 1 million buybacks continue. It puts a floor on the price, it boosts book value and eventually boosts share price.

        I think it's going to be a good handful of years till they see a good results on this new bond insurer. And there is NO investmenmt/interest income to earn from policies they sell. Going to be tight. But if you sit for 3 years or so I think it will be a real winner..and WTM may sell a small portion public. certainly the founders, who have about 11% of shares, will push for a public offereing. But I think it's a few years out.

        So I think WTM is just ho hum, short term.... now.......but a great long term play.

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