Share Name Share Symbol Market Type Share ISIN Share Description
British Empire Trust Plc LSE:BTEM London Ordinary Share GB0001335081 ORD 10P
  Price Change % Change Share Price Shares Traded Last Trade
  0.00 0.0% 733.00 0.00 00:00:00
Bid Price Offer Price High Price Low Price Open Price
731.00 733.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Industry Sector Turnover (m) Profit (m) EPS - Basic PE Ratio Market Cap (m)
Equity Investment Instruments 17.90 14.83 49.4 821
Last Trade Time Trade Type Trade Size Trade Price Currency
- O 0 0.00 GBX

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British Empire Daily Update: British Empire Trust Plc is listed in the Equity Investment Instruments sector of the London Stock Exchange with ticker BTEM. The last closing price for British Empire was 733p.
British Empire Trust Plc has a 4 week average price of 0p and a 12 week average price of 0p.
The 1 year high share price is 748p while the 1 year low share price is currently 695p.
There are currently 112,049,552 shares in issue and the average daily traded volume is 0 shares. The market capitalisation of British Empire Trust Plc is £821,323,216.16.
davebowler: OUr man Joe Bauernfreund on 15% of our portfolio- hTTps://;utm_source=BulkEmail_Investment+Trust+Insider+Daily&utm_medium=BulkEmail_Investment+Trust+Insider+Daily&utm_campaign=BulkEmail_Investment+Trust+Insider+Daily Transcript; Joe Bauernfreund is chief executive of Asset Value Investors which last year raised £80 million for the AVI Japan Opportunities (AJOT) investment trust. In this video interview Bauernfreund explains how through the management of global British Empire (BTEM) investment trust, his team spotted a huge investment opportunity in Japanese smaller companies. Bauernfreund describes how the trust is helping to challenge Japan’s cosy corporate culture that has enabled otherwise good businesses sit on large piles of cash and ignore their shareholders. Reforms by Japan’s prime minister Abe have begun to turn the tide with a growing number companies realising they need to take steps to improve shareholder returns and their share price. The onus is on communication rather than confrontation, says Bauernfreund. ‘We’re trying to develop a relationship of trust with them, and understanding and try to get them to understand we’re not the greedy foreigners who are trying to destroy Japanese culture.’ Can’t watch now? Read the transcript. Gavin Lumsden: Hello, with me today is Joe Bauernfreund, chief executive of Asset Value Investors, who is probably best known as the manager of British Empire investment trust but in recent months has also been running the AVI Japan Opportunity Trust or AJOT for short to use its share price ticker. Joe, very good to see you, thanks for coming in. Now AJOT raised £80 million in October. It was one of the more interesting investment trust launches last year, can you remind us what it is you’re seeking to do? Joe Bauernfreund: Well thank you very much for seeing me today. The idea behind AJOT is to capitalise on opportunities amongst Japanese small-cap companies and specifically amongst companies that have accumulated huge amounts of cash on their balance sheets over a good number of years. And effectively we’re able to buy into good quality operating businesses at very attractive valuations. GL: Right, so Japan is often cited amongst major global stock markets as being one of the cheapest and in that market you’re going for some of the smallest and cheapest companies you can find? JB: That’s right. It’s undoubtedly cheap and it has been cheap for a number of years. The question is, is there a catalyst that can reverse that undervaluation? We believe that the corporate governance code and the stewardship code that were introduced four or five years ago in Japan are the catalyst for change in Japan. GL: Because Japanese companies were traditionally viewed, certainly by Western companies, Western investors, as being shareholder unfriendly, but this is changing? JB: Absolutely right. Historically Japanese companies were run for the benefit of employees, pensioners, customers and the broad Japanese society. But finally, because of ‘Abenomics’, companies are being encouraged to focus on shareholders, on share price, on share returns, on balance sheet efficiency. All that idle cash on the balance sheet or cross-shareholdings that exist in Japan, companies are now being asked to address that by boosting returns on equity. GL: Now I can understand the problem of having too much cash, but what’s the problem with cross-shareholdings that you mentioned? Is that because they’re investing in things that have got nothing to do with their main business? JB: Well it’s more to do with the fact that in Japan a culture has evolved whereby if two companies are doing business together they’ll own shares in each other as a way of demonstrating support for each other’s business. And as you expand that, the problem arises that this cosy relationship prevents outside shareholders from having a say in the governance of the companies. GL: So you want to go in there and shake it up and with all this cash that’s sitting on their balance sheets, what, you basically want them to return it to shareholders like yourself? JB: Well it would be great if they start returning all that cash to shareholders. GL: Through dividends? JB: Through dividends. Through share buybacks, buying their own shares on very low valuations. Or by finding attractive opportunities for them to invest that cash. So it’s trying to reverse this psyche that’s developed in Japan that you keep a big pile of cash for a rainy day and you don’t actually do anything productive with it. GL: So it’s all quite civilised. You’re not going in to wage war against them? You’re communicating with them. JB: Absolutely, we’re communicating with them, we’re trying to develop a relationship of trust with them, and understanding and try to get them to understand we’re not the greedy foreigners who are trying to destroy Japanese culture. We want good things to happen that will benefit them, their employees, Japan at large as well as ourselves. GL: And are you the catalyst for this change? What sort of stakes have you got in these companies? They’re small companies but you’re not a big player in Japan are you? JB: We own relatively small stakes, low single digit stakes. But the interesting thing about Japan is that once you own 1% of a company that entitles you to submit shareholder proposals to the agm [annual general meeting]. So you can make quite a lot of noise with a relatively small shareholding. And we’ve been meeting companies, we’ve been writing letters to them, we’ve been telling them what they should do and now the regulatory bodies are telling them what to do and now other domestic institutional investors are telling them the same thing. So collectively the message is beginning to permeate. GL: And now, as I said some of these companies are beginning to move in the right direction? Are you particularly pleased about Tokyo Broadcasting? Because before you launched AJOT you were waging a campaign against them in Japan through British Empire trust. And they resisted your overtures and actually defeated your proposal but they’ve swung around and they’re also increasing their dividend? JB: Well that’s right. We’ve continued to engage with the board of TBS. You’re absolutely right, we submitted shareholder proposals at last year’s agm and we wanted them to reduce their strategic shareholder portfolio and use that money to boost shareholder returns. So it was pleasing a few weeks ago to see that they’ve started to sell down some of the holdings within that strategic shareholding portfolio. They’ve made a very small increase in their dividend. None of this is enough but it’s all a step in the right direction. GL: What sort of returns could you anticipate? You’ve got 29-30 companies in the portfolio. If they start really meaningfully returning some of the cash they've got what could that generate for investors? JB: Well the interesting thing is that the implied valuations of these sometimes really good quality operating businesses is very low single digit multiples. So therefore a company could go up in price by 50% or a 100% and would still not look particularly expensive. GL: Wow, so they are really, really cheap. What’s the most interesting company in AJOT that isn’t in British Empire? JB: Tokyo Radiator manufactures catalytic converters for cars. It’s got almost 100% of its market cap [capitalisation] in cash, 80% of its market cap in cash, and the largest shareholder in there is Calsonic Kansei who owns 40% of the company and that company in turn is controlled by KKR. And that’s another interesting angle we’re seeing in Japan, which is the presence of the big, global private equity players who have all raised funds in order to capitalise on some of the cheap opportunities. GL: Sounds like a value investor’s dream. Talking of big investors, one of your investors is City of London Investment Management or Investment Group. Not everybody will know about them but they’re a leading investor in investment trusts. They like to buy things on a discount so they’re a value investor like you. Quite unusually it appears they have invested in you at launch. JB: Well I think they just, they know us, they saw the value opportunity within this universe and the fact that AJOT is doing something very different to other trusts out there. GL: And are you pleased with progress so far? Very early days but your shares are a premium to the underlying net asset value of about 6-7%. JB: Well we’re very pleased that the thesis is playing out as we suggested it might. So companies are adopting these corporate governance improvements. Our companies are continuing to perform well, which we’re pleased about, and as you say the shares are at a premium. GL: And if they continue to trade at that premium, will you come back and issue some more shares, raise some more money? JB: Yeh we hope so. GL: Well Joe, thanks very much for telling us about it, it certainly sounds a very interesting opportunity and we’ll look forward to hearing more about it in the future. JB: Thank you.
cordwainer: another Citywire extract; British Empire: Pershing’s 23% discount ‘unsustainable’ By Michelle McGagh 19 Jun, 2018 at 14:32 The wide discount on Pershing Square Holdings (PSH) is ‘unsustainable’ and puts star hedge fund manager Bill Ackman under pressure, says British Empire (BTEM). Pershing is the third largest holding in the £850 million British Empire trust, managed by Joe Bauernfreund, which specialises in buying undervalued investment companies and family-run conglomerates. London-listed Pershing offers access to Ackman's hedge fund and makes up 5.9% of British Empire but has suffered poor performance forcing the US activist investor to restructure and focus more of this time on investing. This has started to benefit British Empire, with Pershing's net asset value rising 10% last month, thanks to strong results from Automatic Data Processing, Restaurant Brands International and a new holding in DIY store operator Lowe’s Corp. British Empire steered cleer of Pershing's $300 million share tender which saw some investors sell their stakes on a wide 20.5% discount to NAV, which suggested to Bauernfreund that some long-standing investors had capitulated. ‘We did not participate in the tender and thus benefited in full from the +2% per share accretion generated for continuing shareholders,’ said the manager. Bauernfreund added to his position in Pershing when its shares swung out to a discount of 25% after the tender offer completed. He said we ‘continue to see the current 23% level as unsustainable for a portfolio of large-cap, liquid, listed securities’. The British Empire manager welcomed the decision of Ackman (pictured) to purchase $160 million PSH shares but said ‘the managers will find themselves under increasing pressure if this discount level persists’. Bauernfreund noted credit rating agency Fitch turned negative on Pershing but said the level of gearing, or borrowing, Fitch believes would trigger a downgrade ‘does leave some headroom for further share repurchases and/or tender offers’. ‘In any event, there exists scope for more innovative solutions to the wide discount than simply buybacks and tenders,’ he said. Oakley Capital Investments (OCI) - a £379 million private equity investment trust - also provided an uplift for British Empire in May. Its shares rose 6% in the month and have gained 13% since Bauernfreund first invested in April, boosted by the sale of Italy’s leading price comparison site Facile to Swedish private equity house EQT. Bauernfreund said Oakley’s presentation to investors in the City the day before the sale was announced, confirmed the trust’s ‘differentiated approach...and willingness to embrace complex acquisitions’. ‘In an increasingly competitive and highly-priced private equity market, these features should allow Oakley to continue to unearth compelling acquisition opportunities at below-market multiples,’ he said. British Empire’s net asset value increased 1.8% in May, despite the discount widening 1.01% to 29.3%. The trust’s largest detractor in May was in French-listed Wendel that holds positions in a number of companies such as South African insurer Sanlam. The shares continued their de-rating, which began in March, on the back of currency risks. Bauernfreund said the share price reaction was ‘unwarranted’ and it now trades on a 35% discount. ‘We believe the market may need to see a significant realisation from their private equity portfolio to restore - somewhat unfairly-lost - faith in management,’ he said. At yesterday's close of 755p, British Empire's shares stood 9% below NAV, a narrower discount than the 10% average of the past year. Over five years its NAV including dividends has grown 64.9% while shareholders have received a total return of 71.6%. This is less than half of the 150.9% average return of trusts in the AIC Global sector although its relative performance has been held back by being very underweight the US bull market.
vacendak: @riverman Good catch, thanks. BTEM invests in "old money" trusts and Hansa is also "old money" from what I have gathered. Blast from the recent past (BTEM exited HBC) for those of us with premium access: Https:// Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) or "Compagnie de la Baie d'Hudson" in French Canadian is eagerly fighting Signa, an Austrian company, to buy a German department store. [Excerpt] "Since listing in 2013, Hudson’s Bay has arguably shown more flair for real estate than retailing. Yet as Sears found out, financial engineering can only take you so far. A comparison of the share price of Metro (now called Ceconomy) with that of Hudson’s Bay since the original deal completed suggests getting out of department stores is the wiser choice — in Germany or anywhere else." Ironically British Empire dropped Hudson's Bay when they realised HBC were not going to sell the real-estate, or even spin-off into a REIT like entity. So the FT comment is a bit off-key.
vacendak: July factsheet out: Http:// Full exit from Hudson's Bay, BTEM seems to have been annoyed at the management's lack of desire to make gains on the property portfolio. They do not indicate a loss for exiting - it is implied they sold on a share price rebound - but they do not craw about making mucho dineros either. A lot of poker chips have been shifted to Japan, which I think is a good move. More money injected in Pershing Square despite another upset.
vacendak: BTEM is still holding some LMS, these seem to be going nowhere. LMS is one of the few on the PE thread that is heading in the wrong direction. Hopefully Mr Bauernfreund knows better.
vacendak: And buying more of Riverstone:
tiltonboy: SKYSHIP, They value some of the family controlled businesses at NAV rather than the underlying share price.
davebowler: hxxp:// Average discount to NAV of underlying holdings is 25%.Added to that BTEM's share price is at a 11% discount to its NAV so we are buying its portfolio in effect at a 33% discount.
davebowler: From the Interim Management Statement; Discounts(4) At the end of December the weighted average discount of the underlying portfolio (excluding liquidity) stood at 26.4% compared to 28.4% at the end of September. The discount calculation is a measure of how much the share price of each stock in the portfolio is below our estimate of its net asset value. The trend in the weighted average discount can be seen in the chart below: Weighted Average Discounts in the underlying portfolio of British Empire Securities & General Trust (ex liquidity) Source: Asset Value Investors Ltd
davebowler: Investec; British Empire (BTEM) Vivendi Up and then Down........ ¢ Vivendi Universal is BTEMs largest shareholding, accounting for 10.4% of the net assets. ¢ Its results released this morning saw it beat analysts' estimates, with sales coming in above expectations (€29bn vs.e.€28.5bn). The overall 2012 adjusted net income was however, down 14% yoy to €2.55bn. ¢ The share price was up over 3% yesterday before the results were announced, while the stock is down c.3% this morning. This might be in part due to the market reaction Italian election results but also seems to be in part due to disappointment over a lack of detail from Vivendi over any realisations or restructuring. ¢ Continued interest in the stock is coming from the speculation that the constituent parts of Vivendi will be sold off to help realise value. In the results it was noted that an "ongoing strategic review will define precisely, and as and when appropriate, the right paths to increase the group's overall value and to best serve shareholder interests." This said, no concrete details were provided. ¢ Analysts have identified that breaking up the group or selling specific companies within Vivendi's portfolio could realise significant value for investors, and this could provide a large uplift for BTEM's NAV. Investec Insight: ¢ BTEM has seen its performance boosted over the past few months by a narrowing in the discount of its underlying holdings as the market rally has improved investor sentiment. ¢ The same picture has been seen with BTEM's discount, which has narrowed from -14% in November, to the current discount of -10%. ¢ We believe further price outperformance will in part depend on continued positive investor sentiment, otherwise we could again see the discount widening, both in BTEM and its underlying holdings. This said, any positive moves by Vivendi to realise value in its underlying portfolio should help market sentiment toward BTEM and see a continued narrowing in discount. ¢ NAV performance from BTEM has seen its NAV outperform the FTSE World over the 1 year and six months, while it has lagged over the longer 3 year and 5 year horizons. The TER of the fund remains low at 0.75% and gearing is essentially flat. ¢ We view BTEM as part play on successful corporate action, and part play on a continuing narrowing of discounts in the underlying.
British Empire share price data is direct from the London Stock Exchange
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