Share Name Share Symbol Market Type Share ISIN Share Description
Marylebone Warwick Balfour Grp LSE:MWB London Ordinary Share GB00B2PF7L39 UNITS (COMPR 1 ORD & 20 B SHS)
  Price Change % Change Share Price Bid Price Offer Price High Price Low Price Open Price Shares Traded Last Trade
  +0.00p +0.00% 4.875p 0.00p 0.00p - - - 0 06:30:09
Industry Sector Turnover (m) Profit (m) EPS - Basic PE Ratio Market Cap (m)
Real Estate Investment & Services 329.9 -44.9 -16.3 - 8.00

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Date Time Title Posts
06/5/201313:11Marylebone Warwick Balfour496
18/9/201121:27Sack the chairman, senior mgt, and board17
11/9/200907:44Recovery play?190
27/4/200919:03Due a recovery?10
13/4/200708:32MWB Gonna Jump up, due to MBE rocketing34

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scburbs: The incentive scheme was designed to pay out £3m if MBE were worth £40m on 30 June 2010 up to £10m if it were worth £80m. When MBE did a share buyback on 23 June 2010 the group was worth c.£35m. The takeover offer from MWB valued the group at £32.66m in May 2011. I wonder who they got to value the business at £40m? Another example of incentive schemes designed by and for management and not aligned with shareholder interests? Using independent valuations of a listed business seems a particularly inappropriate why a value a company whose current market value can easily be derived from the share price!
scburbs: Looks like Pyrrho forced the MBE board to think about what they were doing. A difficult task as evidenced by the Regus debacle. This challenge from Pyrrho appears to be the cause of the administration. Really quite shocking to see the MBE directors making off with £3m in bonuses! "THREE directors of MWB Business Exchange, the serviced office provider, have shared more than £3m in bonuses despite a steep fall in the share price. The men picked up about £1m each from a long-term incentive scheme set up when the company floated seven years ago. John Spencer, chief executive, received £1.2m on top of his £285,000 salary. Keval Pankhania, former finance director, and Richard Aspland-Robinson, previously an executive director, collected £1m each in addition to their pay. The latter two resigned from the board this month. Insiders said that the incentive scheme had originally been due to pay out if the company was sold within five years of listing. By 2007, it had become clear that this was unlikely and the scheme was amended so that the reward would be based on an independent valuation of the business."
markt: "and we expect to embark shortly on a fund raising process aimed at raising new capital to strengthen the Group's financial position" Hence the question.... was the MWB BOD legally and intentionally negligent in making new investments over the months running up to that disclosure ?.....a new hotel in Scotland I recall, and perhaps other investments... ----- In various European countries with debt is surfacing that public money has been spent on stupid and crazy airports in bad locations that now have no airplanes using them..... and that business owners made large profits in the process, often with backhanders to politicians that awarded the contracts...(ie. that money was intentionally mispent because the top people involved would get rich as part of the process) I wonder if any investigating is needed at MWB to see if anything similar has been occurring. ----- As a PS.....if any MWB directors or any related party or friend have large short positions open...such as via offshore tax havens with strict secrecy laws (Switzerland, Cayman Islands), and cover companies, so no one can find out...then they could/would be making large amounts of money from the fall of the MWB share price. Most of the money of the Marshalls (David Marshall is a non-exec) looks to be held in Trust Funds. Perhaps any trust funds where DM is not a trustee can legally take short positions since not under DM control and perhaps would not need to report. There are directors on the LFI BOD from a Swiss bank. And the Marshalls have reported links to Luxembourg and to Virgin islands and Guernsey. Of course they would not do anything not allowed, but you can see that if anyone wanted to bend the rules or push them to the limit or make personal gain....that it would be very easy to do imo, and no one would ever know. (LFI already dances around the regulations no disclosure in LFI accounts of payments made to a son as director of subsidiary company....and imo they don't comply with the related party disclosure rules or at least the spirit of the rules, eg. payments from MWB, CRE, NBI, FIF are not disclosed in LFI/WSE accounts). Good old London markets !....very murky imo !!....
markt: "SpectoAcc - 12 Mar'12 - 13:12 - 405 of 406 Balfour-Lynn got 10% of the co I see; what's he going to do with them I wonder? " Maybe you could make him an offer !! --- I wonder if the directors have previously got back most of their investment costs......that perhaps their remaining shares are for free..or at least reduced their current loss....I don't know, I haven't tried to calculate it.. from - 9.75% interest on any conv. loan notes they have (like warrants that pay a big divi !) - profits from operating their own conference business from the same offices - profits from running the HQ, at very high cost to MWB, subsequently stopped - anything else ? ---- share price keeps going down the toilet ..even after 10p.... I assume that means that the city chaps and big players have analysed the accounts and think there is a feasible chance of the hotels part going bust and/or having negative assetts (I haven't really tried, difficult to unravel I think, and accounts are one thing, reality could be something different !)...officially they keep clocking in bottom line losses, which surely can't go on for ever...
markt: BTW has anyone calculated whether Richard Balfour-Lynn made or lost money for himself while running MBW, MBE ? be interesting to know would have to include any payments from loan notes....(10% I think), and from very high cost of directors vehicle that ran MWB (till that was stopped), and from running conference business from same offices as MWB Will Creston go the same way ? CEO Don Elgie is imo on an excessive benefits package...while he has produced a share price of 60p after backing into a shell at 96p in 2000 !!...and various cash raising at around 130p. His benefits package takes 2 pages of the annual report ! If he doesn't get a big bonus via perf. condit. c) then he will get via condit. e) or f) ! Only has to beat GDP growth for part of it !!...not exactly stretching. (2M pnds in 2010 incl shares, and co. only makes around 5M PAT, so he got 30-40% of the co. PAT despite the co. having 900 workers, ridiculous imo..and share price since he arrived in 2000 has been down !) The common element ?? David C Marshall ! Correct me if I am wrong...but he backed them both into shells I think. Creston and MWB (from MWB he's picked up around 360k I think....well paid to overseas one assumes tax free and Nat. Insur. free ?...his co. or his wife's ??....who knows...with UK disclosure rules is all secret !!) ---- BTW...imho...UK shareholders need to be more active....and kick out directors that do not produce results or shareholder value (Don Elgie for example).....only kicking them out when the game is almost over and a company is on its knees...perhaps too late...very difficult to recover...
williamgtheobald: Hi markt RE: Post Number 365 Firstly sorry for my delayed reply I initially missed your previous post. I will try and look at the independent directors at MWB but I would imagine they are all friendly with one and other. Jobs for the boys and all that. I will be sending an letter to MWB's auditors as clearly something is going a miss . HeadOffice costs were 10 million last year! I find this hard to justify. No doubt a lot of this went on balfour and his chums. Given the share price performance today guessing the news out tomorrow will not make for good reading.
markt: but share price down 8% in continues downward slide Directors claimed policy is same as in return assetts to shareholders...and reduce gearing... But imho they haven't fully followed that policy.....various new ventures started.. should they be taking on new hotels/ventures ?? Massive assetts, massive debt....tiny share price....I thought the plan was to reduce the assetts and hence the that some NAV would be increase the share price...and cheer up shareholders... Share price has gone from 50p to 11-12p in last few months.....and down slope is quite steep !
markt: ....the value in MBE for each 1 MWB share has fallen over last 3 years from 29p/share to 3p now !! Wow, these directors sure know how to destroy value/assetts !! ----- imo I doubt that Pyrro Investments will accept any MWB shares as part of any payment/offer for their MBE shares.... --- MWB 180M of debt facility now (280-100 in Nov) (previously it had around 280M and around the same in negligible or small difference between debt and assetts) and cap. value is ...well perhaps 5M if remove the value of the part ownership of MBE) ...peanuts compared with the debt facility... infers imo that the market sees the risk of MWB going bust as very high. cash needed to pay for non-owned part of MBE ...quite small relative to debt facility of 180M....but if bank sees nett assetts position as not so good then it may not be keen to increase the lending...
markt: the MWB offer thing is still going on....since June !! ...perhaps now any MWB shareholders would not want to accept any MWB shares as part of the payment...due to the falling MWB price...and MWB debt levels... that case, has MWB got enough cash to buy the remaining MBE shares ?...perhaps not since its cash/debt position is not so good, been doing sale and leaseback deals to raise cash... would it make sense for MBE to be sold for cash to AN Other.....and MWB can use that cash to reduce its own debt levels and improve its own financial position...?
williamgtheobald: MWB: a Mess Without Bounds? By Stephen Wilmot, 28 October 2011 The boardroom saga at MWB never seems to end. The property company got in a tangle this spring when it tried to buy out the minority shareholders in its Business Exchange subsidiary. Now the storm has moved to its other subsidiary, hotels group Malmaison, due to a controversial refinancing. But the Malmaison affair also has the potential to derail the bid for Business Exchange. It's a convoluted tale, so let's start with the basics. MWB Group is a property holding company, which like many of its peers emerged from the property crash with too much debt. It used to have three subsidiaries, but sold one - the iconic Liberty department store - for £42m last year to satisfy the banks. That left it with a 72 per cent stake in Business Exchange, a listed provider of serviced offices, and an 82.5 per cent stake in the Malmaison and Hotel du Vin hotel chains. And still loads of debt. It is this messy corporate structure that has proved so problematic. We reported on its attempts to buy the rest of Business Exchange on the cheap here. The short version is that MWB was eventually forced by Pyrrho, an activist private equity fund with an 8 per cent stake in Business Exchange, to raise its offer from 50p per share to 80p per share. That seemed like a victory for small shareholders at the time, and Business Exchange's shares jumped to near 80p on the news. But MWB never actually formalised the offer, which was mainly made in stock, and its own share price has since plummeted. So the deal will have to be renegotiated yet again - if, that is, a formal offer is tabled at all. MWB has until 14 November to make clear its intentions under the new Takeover Code. Given the rumpus that has since erupted over at Malmaison, not to mention in the stock market, we wouldn't pin any hopes on it. Malmaison (including Hotel du Vin) basically consisted of a £437m portfolio of hotels and a £283m RBS loan held against it. That loan was due to expire at the end of 2011, and so on 29 September MWB announced a refinancing deal. It has agreed to pay back £100m by selling off (and leasing back) five of its most valuable hotels, in return for which the bank has agreed to extend the remaining £180m or so of the loan by three years. Richard Balfour-Lynn, MWB's chief executive, claims this puts the group on a robust financial footing, leaving it free to pursue long-term strategic ambitions such as international expansion. But Pyrrho, which owns 24 per cent of MWB as well as its stake in Business Exchange, disagrees. In a long open letter to MWB's board on 17 October, it took strident objection to just about all the terms of the refinancing. Above all, it objected to the treatment of Malmaison's minority shareholder, RBSM Investments, a private equity arm of RBS, whose annual return on its stake will more than triple from 5 per cent to 16.25 per cent. Pyrrho's director, Paul Cummins, thinks RBS used its nepotistic position as lender to extract a disproportionately generous return for RBSM. Actually, it's not just the details Pyrrho objects to – it's the whole strategy. Mr Cummins, who is based in the Far East, thinks the debt should have been reduced not by a fire-sale of the best assets in a weak market, but by asking shareholders for more equity. Mr Balfour-Lynn dismisses Pyrrho's concerns as the hobby horse of a lone shareholder that "doesn't recognise how difficult the banking world has become". He points out that the deal secured the necessary vote of approval at this month's EGM – and even before that he had to get irrevocable commitments of support from 51 per cent of shareholders. Against the background of this spat, it's clear that even without the refinancing problems Malmaison – effectively a play on UK business and consumer spending – is in a tricky spot. Occupancy fell from 79 per cent on average in 2009 to 77 per cent in the 18 months to 30 June. Cash profits were down 6.8 per cent to £25.9m for the year to 30 June. The company even resorted to blaming bad winter weather, the ash cloud and the Royal Wedding. The value of the hotel portfolio was consequently marked down 9.6 per cent. But the recent sale-and-leaseback deals suggest even those valuations may be optimistic: Malmaison received £103m for five hotels with a book value at 30 June of £151m. True, the 70-year leases MWB negotiated with the buyers hold some value, which will not be quantified in the books until the year-end. But even if the leases do make up for the apparent £48m discount to book value at which the hotels were sold, they are an intangible asset. Malmaison claims it has retained asset backing of 77 per cent of the portfolio, by number. But counting the number of hotels this is pretty disingenuous – actually it has sold off 34 per cent by value (which is what counts). Little wonder RBS could still call the shots in the refinancing, despite the £100m reduction in debt. Is it coincidence that Malmaison's long-standing chief executive, Robert Cook, announced his departure a fortnight ago? Mr Balfour-Lynn vigorously denies acrimony - he even penned a denial to the stock exchange this month in response to a piece in . The two may well not have "fallen out", but the more pertinent question is whether Mr Cook would now be looking for a "fresh challenge", as Mr Balfour-Lynn puts it, if his company's strategy had not been overwhelmed by debt issues. So what are shareholders to do? Business Exchange shares are now worth 61.5p – below MWB's 80p offer back in July, but still well above the 45.5p level before the initial bid. It's always tough calling takeover situations, but we would suggest shareholders get out while they still can. At MWB's current share price, the July bid is now only worth 58p, and there's a good chance it won't be made formally at all. After all, MWB's shares have lost a quarter of their value this month and 41 per cent since August. They're now trading at 26p, a level not seen since early 2009, when they bottomed out at 21.5p. That reflects both the debt mess and pretty gloomy operating figures published a week ago. MWB announced a £44.9m pre-tax loss for the 18-month period to 30 June, with shareholders' equity down 21 per cent to £81.2m, or 49.5p a share. That's almost double the share price, so the valuation discount is wide. Existing shareholders, poor souls, may want to wait for a trading bounce before selling out. But they should sell out when they can: with exposure to fairly cyclical sectors in the UK economy, and only three years until the debts are again due, MWB will struggle to turn the page. The whole sorry saga remains a vivid reminder of the foolishness of the property boom and the unfortunate link between real estate and the banking crisis.
MWB Group share price data is direct from the London Stock Exchange
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