A2B Australia Limited (ASX:A2B) describes itself as a “payment and mobility systems and services company.” A2B’s dominance of the taxi payments systems, through Cabcharge, has eroded over the years. The impact of competition from global ride share platforms has been significant. A2B is aiming to compete head-on with local and global giants in the payments game. We believe this strategy is deeply flawed.

The Opportunity

Sandon Capital had been monitoring A2B for some time. The combination of competition from global ride share platforms and COVID-19 restrictions on passenger traffic provided it with the opportunity to buy the stock at attractive prices.

Growing pressure from shareholders spurred a strategy presentation from A2B Management in September 2021, which only exacerbated investor concerns.  Despite this, Sandon Capital believes A2B has significant potential for share price recovery through operational and capital allocation improvements and a strategic reset.
Value is underpinned by significant property holdings whose true worth is not captured in the A2B financial statements.

COMMENCED

July 2020

OPENING PURCHASE PRICE PER SHARE

~$0.89

THE ACTIVIST CAMPAIGN

Sandon Capital wrote to the Chairman ahead of the 2021 AGM to explain why it was voting against the Board’s recommendations.  You can read the letter here.

The outcome of the 2021 AGM sent a strong message to the Board that some shareholders, including Sandon Capital, were very dissatisfied with performance and the direction in which the company is heading.

Whilst Sandon Capital continues to execute its activist strategy regarding A2B’s operational performance, a more pressing issue was the announcement from A2B immediately prior to the 2021 AGM of a non-binding memorandum of understanding to swap its “jewel-in-the-crown” property in inner city Sydney.  In the announcement A2B told shareholders that the property was valued at $57 million.

The same property was recently valued by the NSW Valuer-General at $71 million (for the land alone).  Sandon Capital also commissioned research by well renowned independent property valuers which concluded an indicative assessment of the property’s value at $77 million.

Sandon Capital believes the property could even achieve a significantly higher value than this if A2B were to obtain development approval.  There are also concerns about the potential tax consequences of the proposed swap transaction.

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Sandon Capital recently wrote to the Directors raising its concerns and called on them to immediately abandon the property swap transaction.  You can read the letter here.

A2B’s property valuations have been a point of ongoing dissatisfaction amongst shareholders.  Investor pressure in 2021 led to a revaluation of the A2B property asset portfolio from $10 million to $81 million. Sandon Capital believes the portfolio could be worth far more however, and this view on value underpinned the decision to invest.

INVESTMENT STATUS

Sandon Capital remains a shareholder of A2B

Related Reads

Source: Financial Review By: Simon Evans The incoming chairman of ASX-listed A2B, which operates the 13Cabs taxi network, has launched a strategic r...

Past performance is not indicative of future performance. The content of these case studies constitutes the views and opinions of Sandon Capital. They have been prepared without taking into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular individual. The case studies do not constitute advice.

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