Bitter Grounds - espresso fueled ramblings

Monday, October 23, 2017

Logo for Stanley Gibbons A BBC article passed by my desk yesterday afternoon that raised my eyebrows a bit - World's oldest stamp business Stanley Gibbons up for sale.  SG and/or part of the business may go be sold as the owners look for fresh capital to expand into new markets. As you will see, it's all a bit of a mystery. 

It's a bit hard to say which part, if any, of the Stanley Gibbons Group will be sold off. There are quite a few businesses under SG umbrella, including coin, wine, antique and book auction houses.  It was a direct result of their little buying spree to acquire such diverse holdings plus close to a $39 Million (US) loss last year alone, that led SG to a comprehensive restructuring of the business. So, when the headlines screech Stanley Gibbons up for sale, it might actually mean they might just shed some of their auction houses or the entire business. If the June 12, 2017 Strategic Review is anything to go by, it looks like SG is trying to refocus on it's core strengths of stamp and coin dealing and are actively looking for a buyer.

The SG Group muddied the waters with talk about a possible buy out offer when they posted online they had been approached by Disruptive Capital Group. However, Disruptive is disputing it made any type of take over bid. In a statement relased on June 9, Disruptive states " Disruptive Capital Finance LLP ("Disruptive") confirms that it is not making an offer for Stanley Gibbons Group plc." Regardless, as of June 13, SG posted the following update on the London Stock Exchange page:

Following the announcements of 12 June 2017, Disruptive Capital Finance LLP ("Disruptive") has requested that it be allowed to participate in the Formal Sales Process announced by the Company yesterday morning. The Company has agreed to this.  Disruptive has also agreed that its participation is conditional on any offer for the Company, which may or may not be eventually made by it, being recommended unanimously by the Board of the Company.  This statement is made on behalf of both the Company and Disruptive.

RNS Number : 9503H
Stanley Gibbons Group PLC
13 June 2017
 

Who knows what is actually going on. We'll have to wait and see. It's pretty clear Stanley Gibbons board wants to sell, just what and to whom is the question.  

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And here I sit with my stamps in a complete muddle, and nobody has bothered to tell me what it's all about."
"Listen now, Hemul," said Snufkin slowly and clearly. "It's about a comet that is going to collide with the earth tomorrow."
"Collide?" said the Hemulen. "Has that anything to do with stamp-collecting?”

- Tove Jansson, Comet in Moominland   

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