Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Man of Steel
A South Korean newspaper managed to snap & publish photographs of heretofore camera-shy, activist, buccaneer, and Steel Partners founder, Warren Lichtenstein while he was attending the KT&G AGM recently.
To a certain extent I admire Steel's activities in Japan, for they had shined a deserved spotlight upon the low-hanging deep-value fruit that was present in Japan. And indeed they've pointed out the under-leveraged, and sub-optimal capital structures of many Japanese enterprises.
At the moment, however, while I admire Mr Lichtenstein's efforts, I do not envy his investors, for while the investment manager has indeed collected meaningful performance fees AFTER the share prices of portfolio companies have been ramped-up, investors currently face a less pleasant situation of owning a portfolio of pedestrian, less-than-liquid and undervalued-no-more companies, the exit from which will more perhaps even problematical than it was for Mr Lichtenstein to slip away from the AGM without getting his photo snapped.