NY moneyman to Brink’s: ‘Spin off, sell, and in the meantime, buy more shares’

Thursday, January 17, 2008

NEW YORK—Another letter of demands landed in Brink’s chief executive officer Michael Dan’s mailbox Jan. 9, this time from Steel Partners, a hedge fund here that owns 6.2 percent of Brink’s stock.
Dan has received a flurry of letters from hedge funds—including Pirate Capital and MMI—over the past few months, and the message is generally the same: Brink’s stock is undervalued and it’s time to do a tax-free spin off of either Brink’s Home Security or Brink’s cash handling business.
This letter from Warren G. Lichtenstein, who did not return Security Systems News’ calls, was a variation on the same theme.
Should Brink’s decide not to spin off one division or “other strategic alternative,” Lichtenstein wrote, “we demand that Brink’s pursue an immediate sale of the company in a process that maximizes value for all shareholders.”
In the meantime, Lichtenstein said, Brink’s should “be aggressively buying back its shares and should significantly increase its current share repurchase program from the current $100 million authorization to $500 million.”
He ended the letter: “We look forward to hearing from you.”
Ed Cunningham, Brink’s spokesman, confirmed that Dan received the letter. “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.”