Pirate joins Brink's board, but still bent on sale
NORWALK, Conn.--Thomas Hudson's recent appointment to The Brink's Company's board of directors has not quelled his desire to see the company put itself up for sale. In fact he foresees "material progress toward the sale of Brink's within 12 months."
"Not only is [the sale of The Brink's Company] still our goal, now that I'm on the board the likelihood of a transaction just multiplied ... It's a lot easier [to get things done] on the inside," he said.
The Brink's company announced Feb. 8 that Hudson, who is manager of Pirate Capital, a $1.7 billion hedge fund that owns 8.5 percent of Brink's stock, would be named to its board of directors. Further, Hudson will serve on three board committees, including the strategy committee, which he said is "just as important, if not more important, than joining the board."
Asked if The Brink's Company had changed its current business plan with the appointment of Hudson to the board, Brink's spokesman Ed Cunningham,said, "There is no news regarding our strategy. Brink's has two world-class security businesses and a very powerful brand. Our focus is on supporting the growth of these businesses as we explore opportunities to leverage the Brink's brand into new security-related markets." He continued, "We welcome Mr. Hudson to the board, and look forward to his contribution to the board's continuing efforts to create additional value for all of our shareholders."
Industry analysts have said that there are certainly buyers for Brink's Home Security, but there are not a lot of buyers for the armored trucking division of the Brink's Company. Hudson acknowledged that though there are some barriers to entering the cash-handling business, there are buyers who are very interested in "getting a hold of the Brink's name," which Hudson calls a "phenomenal brand name and number one when you think of safety." He said he's "gotten phone calls from people interested in buying" the armored trucking business and that there is "a robust market for both businesses," likely from "strategic buyers," such as private equity players.
How might the sale of Brink's affect BHS dealers across the country? Hudson said, "Who the actual owner of a business is doesn't impact the day-to-day operations" in a significant way.
Hudson agreed that he will not conduct a proxy solicitation until June 1, 2008. After that, Hudson said, all bets are off.
"The vocal opinion of the shareholder-base of this company is they want it sold," he said. After the agreed upon date, another major shareholder--possibly hedge fund MMI or another shareholder (see "MMI tells Brink's to sell" in the December 2006 issue of Security Systems News)--could run a slate of directors for the board, Hudson said, "and I will be free to vote as I choose."