Mid-May 1999 was indeed the beginning of the end. I am amazed, princess, that you remember the OPCO (private CCA) start up issue - I didn't at first. I have also been amazed at your wise and perceptive postings to this thread over the last few years. But you weren't posting back then - unless it was a different name. I'm curious - is that the case? Might you also have been on the private message board?
I dug into the archives, in case anyone might be interested. PZN had cut a deal with Hong Kong Shanghai Bank to issue stock to meet all its capital needs. When the stock hit the low 20s, Doc refused to take the dilution hit and instead opted to try to issue $400MM of high yield debt. On 5/14/99, just before he was to start a two-week road show in connection with the debt offering, he canceled a meeting with major shareholdeers and held an emrgency conference call to discuss an "insignificant" accounting mistake related to the the PZN payments to OPCO for start up costs.
The General posted the CC number so we could listen to the taped replay, and it was awful. Careful analysis of his comments revealed that he was, if not lying, then extrememly deceitful. What he labeled as an "accounting mistake" was really a revelation that OPCO was insolvent and that the company faced significant occupancy problems. Wall Street went nuts. Paine Weber (Jonathan Litt)lowered its rating and set a price target of 10 (100 in the post 1/10 split world we now live in).
On May 20, a poster named "v_find", whose firm had a large position in PZN, wrote the following on the private mb: "So fellas, the key thing to be focusing on right now is the high yield, because if it doesn't get done, sayonara to the stock!!" On the same day, "flipper" posted, "Paine Weber is trying to torpedo the debt deal."
As I recall, only about half the debt deal got done, and only because Lehman Brothers was trying to save face. In the course of those two weeks, Doc managed to alienate almost all of his supporters, including analysts and shareholders. He lost all credibility. The stock hit 5 or 6 by the end of the year, and later went to either .34 or .18 (I lost track after it went under a dollar.
The REIT suspended dividends, Doc resigned, and the REIT and OPCO were recombined. And here we are, trying to pay of a billion dollars of debt.
newMK - I too recall those trying times. True.... but it still hurts to bring back those memories. A lot of us were hit very badly by Doc and friends at that time. I still haven't recovered - but I'm continually trying to claw my way back. Age is the big albatross now! I "think" the princess was with us in those days - but under a different "nom de post". She was very astute in those days too. Ah, the memories........