NEW YORK -- RDG Capital Fund Management, a shareholder of TravelCenters of America, said that it has delivered a letter to the company's board of directors strongly recommending a $100-million share buyback that RDG estimates would increase TA's stock price by more than 33% to $17 per share.
RDG commends the board for its recently announced initiative to monetize a portion of the company's real estate; however, RDG said it believes the labyrinth of complex sale-leaseback transactions has led to investor confusion, which has caused the company's share price to remain significantly undervalued.
RDG said that TA trades at a 2015 estimated price-earnings (P/E) multiple of 12.9x, a material discount to its fuel and convenience-store industry peer group median of 23.1x. This mispricing creates a share buyback opportunity that can increase both earnings per share and net asset value per share while demonstrating the board's confidence in management's ability to successfully execute the company's business plan, it said.
Following the recommended stock buyback, RDG believes TA would still have ample debt service coverage and liquidity to continue to fund the company's growth through acquisition and greenfield development. Even after the recent series of sale-leaseback transactions, RDG estimates that TA still owns real estate worth more than $400 million that provides a significant source of future liquidity to replenish cash spent on an opportunistic stock buyback.
RDG has asked the board to seriously consider this recommendation and act quickly to take advantage of the company's undervalued stock for the benefit of all shareholders.
Click here to read the full letter.
TravelCenters of America LLC, Westlake, Ohio, has stores in 43 states and Canada operating under the Minit Mart, TA and Petro Stopping Centers brands. Its business includes 370 convenience stores, including 256 which are located at travel centers.
New York City-based RDG is a private investment firm founded by Russell Glass, the former President of Icahn Associates. RDG manages investment funds which primarily focus on undervalued companies with identifiable catalyst opportunities to enhance shareholder value.
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