Yesterday, King Stone Energy Group (Hong Kong listed) released a statement that its Chairman, Mr. Wang Da Yong, had increased his holdings in the company through the purchase of 2.5 billion shares from the major shareholder Mr. Zhao Ming. Mr. Zhao Ming just happens to be the Chairman of Puda Coal (PUDA) that supposedly engaged in a illegal transfer of PUDA assets to himself and since has offered to buy the company at $12.
This deal raises about $55M and backs the believe all along that PUDA shareholders would make out ok considering Zhao Ming has a considerable amount of money to make shareholders whole or to complete a buyout at attractive prices.
It seems very unlikely that he would sell part of his stake in King Stone Energy unless PUDA is moving towards a deal.
Though we personally believe that PUDA is worth a lot more then even a sweetened bid to the $15 range, it might just be easier for all involved to take a decent offer and move on. The BOD is in a sticky situation considering that Zhao Ming has considerable assets to make PUDA whole including his existing PUDA shares. It could get messy relying on Chinese law, but they do have a fiduciary obligation to get a fair price. Would $15 be considered fair in order to avoid a legal battle and obtain a price higher then stock traded for all but a few days?
Our take is that $15-17 would make most US investors sleep well after a very trying period seeing the stock drop to $6 and be halted. The company expects to make $4/share in earnings in 2012 making such a price very attractive to Zhao Ming.
Ultimately our investment thesis suggests sticking in for the more fair value around $30+. Taking $15 next week and moving on towards other Chinese stocks that have been just as pummeled seems just as appealing then waiting for a long legal battle to work out.