I think chances of proxy fight are very high.
The current 13-f Mitartonda filed is his first filing since 2009. He is leading an investing consortium, which threw in the funds to get Barington over the $100 million filing threshold and AVP is by far Barington's largest position.
Mitartonda - and his partners - are expecting returns north of a few %.
Cerberus will learn fast that it ain't direct selling that's failing, it's MLM. The fact that Avon actually went hybrid MLM with this powerful brand is a testament to the legacy of inept management afflicting this powerful imagaic icon.
Sheri McCoy, Avon Exec Management, and the incompetent Board of Directors! Awesome job, kids!
Meanwhile, in the real world, common shareholders got screwed, big time. And this includes the vaporization of a 6% cash dividend. IMO, among the only reasons to hold the stock. This management team is among the most inept ever. Disgusting.
I will side with Barington, and go viking on these clowns. Yacktman, Wellington pulling out the blowtorches. This won't stand.
Of course, the common holder's interest is worth ZERO. 6 months of BS to go and dead money until May 2016.
Nice work Sheri. Beach house paid off, and the kids' college, too.
From Seeking Alpha/WS Journal 12/10/15
Two top executives of Avon (NYSE:AVP) are leaving, WSJ reports, as the embattled cosmetics giant restructures its operations and explores strategic options, including selling its North American operations.Brian Salsberg, senior vice president for global strategy, and David Powell, senior vice president for business transformation and global supply chain, plan to leave at year-end.James Scully, who joined Avon as finance chief earlier this year, will assume more duties as a result of the departures.
Those departures are FAST - just 2-3 weeks away. Things are getting hot on the exec floor.
That'll be a third of the outstanding shares for Barington's BOD slate.
Current management and BOD completely exposed. Their ownership interest is zero and they have no track record. If these big holders signal early it'll be game over.
Cerberus is trying to steal this. A PIPE? For what? Sheri can cut tons out and boost cash flow. Hell, they have $600 MM in the bank. Is Scully competent? Senseless proposal from Cerberus, imo.
Page 4, first chart. Net Income. $196 stated, should be $ 252.
Can't square the numbers, detracting from otherwise strong presentation.
You see this?
The $587 MM is cited in the Reuters report as Avon's cash balance at the end of Q315. It's not what Cerberus is paying or investing. The Cerberus deal is complex, involving the sale of Avon North America ($1.2 Billion in sales/13.6% of total Avon sales), and a cash purchase for a minority stake.
The follow on news is just as important: Barrington -- with a consortium of activist investors -- has taken a 2.8% stake in AVP. They are opposing the Cerberus deal, according to the news report. And that means they know key aspects of the Cerberus proposal.
You ask for Investor Relations?
You ask for Management to communicate?
You ask for stock price support?
You ask for....
You get nothing. That's because you are rubes. You get nothing because you deserve nothing. You are retail. You are the fools who bought the stock we dumped.
The only people who care about the stock price are the longs (issue trades a measly $1 million/day) and the employees.
Please note -- it is not a fraud. But it is a scam. And you are the rubes.
Why do you think MDV is still holding 9 million shares? They have to. They have to be able to say that they lost a fortune along with everyone else. With their stake, MDV can say they are "the biggest losers" in FUEL - even after they've pocketed $100 million on the post lock-up dump. They made a 5X - 6X turn on their original investments in FUEL. What did you make?
Look, it takes a lot of duplicitous, behind-the-scenes work to get a company like FUEL to a valuation of $1 billion and more. The most important part is the marketing: we need a great and plausible “story” that retail can buy and believe. FUEL had that: Stanford PHD’s, rocket scientists, who will re-invent the online ad market. Isn’t this great? Then you need to line up the early investors and pump out the marketing to Wall Street and underwriters, so they have a sellable premise for the investing public, and we’re really good at that – it takes relationships to get that done, and at MDV, that’s what we have. So after investing a few $ million in early raises, when it came to the IPO, we held back a lot of stock to pump that value up. As you know, we got the valuation up to nearly $2 Billion – can you believe it? This set us up perfectly to dump 2 million shares after the lock up – and we walked off with $100 million.
And if we could sell our remaining 9 million shares, we do it in heartbeat. But there are propriety concerns, even though everything we’ve done is within the stated legal boundaries. Look, we made a ton of money for ourselves, our investors, and FUEL management. George John left with $18 million, he’s set for life and so are all the other founding management team members. What’s wrong with that?
When they (FUEL) went public, they were very close to a billion and they have traded up to between $1.5 and $2 billion. An interesting question is whether there is a formula for creating billion-dollar companies. I think there are a minimum set of conditions that have to be in place and then it's about executing.
I think Rocket Fuel is a classic case in some ways of the minimal conditions you have to have.
I think first and foremost you need superb entrepreneurs. We are lucky in having two or three of them in this company. They started the company together and have been able to work very closely now for going on seven or eight years. They worked together at Yahoo previously. You don’t often get that kind of quality group that has worked together and have pretty well established roles, are very complementary and really know the industry that they are going after.
That’s No. 1. No. 2 is to have a really very large scale market. Now Rocket Fuel isn’t a consumer company, per se, but it does touch a really, really high proportion of consumers. They are really a business-to-business-to-consumer company. They help other businesses touch consumers. That sort of population-scale market opportunity, coupled to defensible and highly scalable technology, those are some of the basic ingredients I think you need if you are shooting to build a billion dollar company.
You find this even if you look at the software-as-a-service (SaaS) side of the house, another area we are involved in with a company called Proofpoint. Even though SaaS companies are mostly enterprise-focused, the fact of the matter is if you look at the ones that are scaling and highly valuable, they produce products that pretty much every organization on the planet have to use. So it’s variant on this population-scale problem.
So I think you always have to begin with a set of great entrepreneurs. Then you have to have a market that is scalable. Population-scale is the size I like to see our companies going after.
Did you read the posts below: 11/9 re: MDV are the real "rocket scientists"?
MDV has extracted over $100 million in PROFITS on FUEL. Pre-IPO investors have also profited handsomely. It's retail -- you -- who got fleeced.
The only issue that matters here is whether MDV can find a sucker to buy their 9 million shares -- along with all of FUEL.
What we're doing is correcting the false information you provided on this point.
1. Do you know where Nasdaq gets the ownership information they publish on their site? They get the info from the Securities and Exchange Commission.
2. Nasdaq's FUEL information which you cite is a direct lift, including the reporting date, of MDV's 12/31/14 13-F filing.
3. The reason it's considered "new" by Nasdaq, is because it's the initial 13-F report filed, ie, "new." MDV transferred their FUEL holding from one of their many funds, to their new "management" company - a common activity that has no bearing on "ownership."
Common sense would likely have informed you that an issue with a 45 million share float could not have a new buyer show up looking for a 9 million share position. No previous open market owner, could have amassed that share count without driving the price up on themselves, and basically screwing themselves big time, especially in order to sell that stake to MDV - which is what you are suggesting.
The 9 million share position MDV holds is their legacy position -- obtained pre-IPO based on their raise participation.
You are incorrect.
1. MDV was an original FUEL investor, participating pre-IPO in series A, B and C raises. Their initial investment was approximately $30-$40 million, and their pro-rata share assignment as stated in SEC S-1 registration filings was about 11.5 million shares. MDV was - and remains - FUEL's largest proportionate "owner."
2. At the IPO 9/19/13, MDV sold about 500,000 shares at the IPO price of $29. Proceeds from sale = $14.5 million
3. Six months later 2/3/14 and post-lock-up, in FUEL's secondary offering, MDV sold 1.7 million shares at $61. Proceeds from sale = $103.7 million.
With FUEL, MDV entered public market trading with about 11.5 million shares. Within 6 months of the IPO, MDV had sold about 2.2 million shares, earning about $118 million, total. Net proceeds to MDV equal $78 - $88 million. Post sale, MDV retained about 9.3 million shares -- and that is the approximate share count reported today in all SEC filings, and where that stake came from. At today's current share price of about $4.50, MDV's current holding equals about $42 million. Combined with their previous sales proceeds, MDV has earned about $125 million on FUEL.
Other than portfolio rounding, MDV has never bought a material amount of FUEL equity on the open market. The 9 million share holding you cite, is a legacy position established before the IPO.
You should start reading SEC documents so that you know what's going on here.
MDV pocketed well north of $100 million on this dog. Go back and read the registration filings, and the secondary offering filings. Retail got thoroughly smoked on FUEL. The early venture guys, like MDV, made a killing.
You bag holders should sell and get out of this disaster. Take your losses and convert to cash. And then short MDV's next offering.