BTEM’s NAV was essentially unchanged over the month with local currency gains – driven mostly by discount narrowing – being offset by adverse FX moves (a strengthening Pound). We now have over 20% of NAV in Japanese holdings and these were a key source of performance over the month. Tokyo Broadcasting System, Digital Garage, Toshiba Plant, and the Japan Special Situations Basket all performed strongly. Outside of Japan, GP Investments, Cosan Limited (which was until now an undisclosed position), JPEL Private Equity, and Third Point Offshore Investors contributed to returns; Exor, Investor AB, Adler, Symphony, and Swire Pacific were detractors.
We wrote last month on Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS) and our public campaign to encourage the company to reduce its stock portfolio. TBS’ share price rose +20% over November on the back of publicity surrounding our actions and strong operating profit growth (+38% for H1-17) in the underlying operating business. Despite the share price increase, non-core assets (listed equities, investment properties, and net cash) more than cover the market cap with the high quality operating business being implicitly assigned a negative value by the market. We continue to engage with the board and management.