Do you have a link to a thesis or anything like that ?!
There's a write-up on VIC that sums up the thesis pretty well. It's a classic bad biz/good biz story with a bunch of noise in the numbers.
It's mostly known as a retailer, but the new CEO is a wholesaler with extensive M&A experience, and the biz is increasingly becoming a pureplay wholesaler (thus setting itself up for multiple expansion). The major event was selling most of the retail biz last yeah to delever, but they still have some 200 company owned retail stores that I expect them to get rid of.
They also own some 16 distribution centers (RE value in a retail play - where have we heard that before!) post their last acquisition where they'll have a bunch of sale-leaseback options.
So basically, it seems like we have a quiet competent CEO in his best years where the market might not appreciate how the biz is transforming.
There's always integration risks, but experience is a huge plus, and in wholesale distribution I think it's pretty straightforward. It's trading at around 4 times this years Ebitda guidance or around 6-7 times wholesale Ebitda, but wholesale should grow nicely with their latest acquisition and customers wins (grew some 12 pct. last quarter) and then you have a bunch of value unlocking options.
Sometimes it can take ages for management to unlock value, but the CEO seems pretty intent on pulling the right levers. While retail isn't popular right now, privately negotiated asset prices seems priced to perfection most places, so I'd prefer if he acted swiftly before an eventual downturn.
Couldn't find the VIC write up can anyone share a link maybe?
After looking into it, I think the market totally misunderstands the company and the transformation strategy punishing SVU with a distressed retail operation multiple. Sale of Save-A-Lot and purchase of Unified Grocers ads a bit to the confusion which is why the opportunity probably exists. EBITDA run rate of ~$515m post Unified Grocers transaction, net debt should be less than $2bn post transaction including pension obligations capital leases and what not. EBITDA should be growing even without a turnaround/divestiture of the retail business, reasonable leverage. Potential catalysts: additional deleveraging (same TEV lower net debt), sale of the losing retail business, continued growth (and as a result multiple expansion) improved capital efficiency by a sale and leaseback of logistic centers and/or disposal of the retail business (and as a result multiple expansion). Downside on the other hand seems to be limited, even if they stop growing, debt levels are manageable and plenty of time to respond. The margin of safety seems adequate.
Interesting situation, management seems competent and honest. all told the stock seems to be too cheap....
Thanks for the idea kab60!