Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Quebecor Share Debacle

Quebecor the big printing rival to RH Donnelly cancelled a $250mm share sale and a related $500mm debt issue yesterday after the offers received less than full participation from the markets. From the Globe and Mail:
Shares dropped from $5.10 to $2.80 in the past seven days - this was a $40 stock five short years ago. Much of the drop over the past week can be traced to short sellers who sold, with the intention of buying back Quebecor World shares by participating in the equity or debenture sale. If these same short sellers own the convertible preferred shares, they have even more to gain from a lower stock price, as they will get more equity when they swap the preferred shares for common. Long-time Quebecor World shareholders seemed unwilling to step in and support the stock over the past seven days, which should be a cause for some soul-searching at head office.

According to the newspaper, the company will now have to completely rethink how they refinance this company which is debt ridden despite selling their loss making European operations earlier this year. The performance of Quebcor compares unfavorably with the performance of RH Donnelly who appear to have weathered fundamental changes in the printing industry and intense competition from Asia to post consistently good results. Donnelly has also spent the summer successfully recapitalizing the company.

No comments: