NY moneyman to BrinkÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s: Ã¢â‚¬ËœSpin off, sell, and in the meantime, buy more sharesÃ¢â‚¬â„¢
NEW YORKÃ¢â‚¬â€Another letter of demands landed in BrinkÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s chief executive officer Michael DanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s mailbox Jan. 9, this time from Steel Partners, a hedge fund here that owns 6.2 percent of BrinkÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s stock.
Dan has received a flurry of letters from hedge fundsÃ¢â‚¬â€including Pirate Capital and MMIÃ¢â‚¬â€over the past few months, and the message is generally the same: BrinkÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s stock is undervalued and itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s time to do a tax-free spin off of either BrinkÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Home Security or BrinkÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s cash handling business.
This letter from Warren G. Lichtenstein, who did not return Security Systems NewsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ calls, was a variation on the same theme.
Should BrinkÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s decide not to spin off one division or Ã¢â‚¬Å“other strategic alternative,Ã¢â‚¬Â Lichtenstein wrote, Ã¢â‚¬Å“we demand that BrinkÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s pursue an immediate sale of the company in a process that maximizes value for all shareholders.Ã¢â‚¬Â
In the meantime, Lichtenstein said, BrinkÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s should Ã¢â‚¬Å“be aggressively buying back its shares and should significantly increase its current share repurchase program from the current $100 million authorization to $500 million.Ã¢â‚¬Â
He ended the letter: Ã¢â‚¬Å“We look forward to hearing from you.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ed Cunningham, BrinkÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s spokesman, confirmed that Dan received the letter. Ã¢â‚¬Å“We value their opinion, as we do the opinions of all or our shareholders. As we announced in November, we are in the process of reassessing our strategic alternatives. We remain committed to enhancing value for all of our shareholders.Ã¢â‚¬Â