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   Strategies & Market TrendsSpeculating in Takeover Targets

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From: richardred7/14/2016 1:15:59 PM
   of 6850
Taking a vacation. I'll be back at the end of the first week in August for those who look in.

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To: richardred who wrote (4164)8/2/2016 2:58:59 PM
From: richardred
   of 6850
I'm back from South Carolina today. Sold some LIFO BRKS > 13 for a nice gain in SC. New addition today on this down day TDC Teradata 29.47. I liked that earnings were better than expected. Just maybe things are bottoming out. The Cloud Space has been a RED HOT area of late. RE- Saleforce is an aggressive willing acquirer today - Quip. Oracle/Netsuite-They might be done. However I don't think IBM/SAP/HPC/MSFT are. TDC also did some undisclosed amount of acquiring. Added unprofitable Hortonworks /HDP to my watch-list.

P.S. I wouldn't be surprised to see an upgrade soon on TDC by analysts. IMO TDC is the best value/ Bang for an acquirers buck in this timely cloud space.

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To: richardred who wrote (4212)8/2/2016 7:20:26 PM
From: richardred
   of 6850
RE- STKL speculation More activism heightens a possible sale.

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From: Paul Senior8/3/2016 10:40:16 AM
   of 6850
CTG. Small add here to my few shares. Not going to be a profitable year for the company, mgmt says. Maybe next year will be better for company & stock.

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To: Paul Senior who wrote (4218)8/4/2016 9:14:40 AM
From: richardred
   of 6850
I'm hanging on to my shares with possible adds. I actually thought 8 cent for the quarter wasn't to bad. It is a top ten portfolio holding for me. IMO still high as a Takeover target. Competitors, big and small in the group are also undergoing tough times. IMO In market and economic conditions were currently undergoing. In general, I've noticed many weaker companies are being consolidated for economies of scale, margins, and efficiency. This company has a new CEO who has been there 25 years. IBM & Levano are still important customers. IBM recently bought Truven Health Analytics for 2.6 Billion for it's Watson Health unit. Any more IBM acquisitions in this field IMO could have a positive impact. It might take awhile for a turnaround so the company will be vulnerable to a reasonable hypothetical offer. I'm guessing you might have seen an IBM Watson commercial? Xerox's spin-off of Conduent is also trying to compete in this field. I saw Conduent was recently mentioned as a target itself. The company put it's corporate headquarter are up for sale at 3 times book value (over 3 mill). If completed should be a one time gain as an extraordinary item. Divided payout to earnings level level exceeds past historical levels due to poor earnings. I'm just guessing it will be maintained as the headquarters are for sale.
RE- Conduit

I've posted an article of the Buffalo News you might find interesting.

New CEO of Computer Task Group confident he can reverse company’s plunge

By David Robinson | News Business Columnist
on July 31, 2016 - 12:01 AM

Bud Crumlish has his work cut out for him.

Crumlish, who has spent the past 25 years at Computer Task Group, is taking over as the Buffalo information technology company’s president and CEO at one of its darkest times in the past decade.

CTG’s profits are plunging. Its sales are on pace to decline for the fourth straight year. Its stock is at a six-year low.

And Crumlish’s predecessor as CEO, former Dell executive Cliff Bleustein, lasted just 16 months on the job before he “resigned by mutual agreement” with CTG’s board of directors.

In other words, Bleustein was shown the door by CTG’s board, pocketing a $1 million severance package on his way out.

Oh, and Bleustein came to CTG only because James R. Boldt, the company’s CEO for 13 years, died unexpectedly on Columbus Day in 2014.

Amid that tidal wave of misfortune, Crumlish, is charged with trying to pull CTG out of its tailspin.

Crumlish, who has run CTG’s biggest business unit – its staffing segment – for the previous 15 years, thinks the company has what it takes to turn around. In an interview, Crumlish said he’s comfortable with CTG’s general strategy under Bleustein, which put more focus on its staffing business that provides information technology services and personnel to companies.

He still sees opportunity in the health care sector, which fueled CTG’s rapid growth from 2009 to 2012 as hospitals scrambled to install expensive electronic medical records systems under pressure from the federal government.

But as hospitals started feeling the squeeze from lower federal insurance reimbursements, they lost interest in expensive technology upgrades and CTG’s electronic medical records work dried up, leaving a gaping hole in its revenue base. Boldt couldn’t plug the gap before he died, and Bleustein didn’t have any luck, either. In fact, CTG’s slide has accelerated this year, likely contributing to his departure.

“I’ve seen this company enjoy many good times and also weather a few tougher periods, like that which we’re experiencing today,” Crumlish told analysts during a conference call last week. “It takes hard work and resourcefulness to get through the difficult periods.”

Crumlish, for now, isn’t promising any major changes. He said he wants to take the next month or two to review CTG’s strategy. But by and large, Crumlish thinks CTG’s problem isn’t that it’s following the wrong strategy. The issue is how the company is doing at carrying it out.

“There’s not a whole lot of change in the strategy,” Crumlish said in the interview. “It’s more a matter of execution.”

CTG bolstered its sales staff under Bleustein. It’s pushing to win more work from existing clients. Crumlish wants to build closer ties between its staffing and IT solutions businesses, especially in the health care market.

Crumlish warned that those initiatives will take time to develop. “These things take time to build,” he said. “You start small.”

But small improvements won’t stop CTG’s decline.

• CTG’s sales, which peaked in 2012 at $424 million, have dropped for three straight years and are on a path to decline again this year.

Over the past three years, CTG’s sales have fallen by 13 percent and the company warned last week that it expects sales to drop by another 10 percent this year. If that pans out, it would leave CTG’s sales at roughly the same level they were back in 2010.

• CTG’s profits, which more than doubled to an all-time high by 2012 as the company’s health care business grew rapidly, has suffered an equally precipitous fall as the sector softened.

The company’s profits have tumbled by 60 percent over the past three years and are expected to drop by another 50 percent this year, after excluding write-downs and other one-time expenses. That would leave CTG with its weakest annual profits in 10 years.

• The company’s stock has taken a nasty beating. CTG shares, which traded as high as $25.71 in 2013 as optimism over the health care business peaked, now trades for around $5 a share – a plunge that has wiped out 80 percent of the stock’s value.

• The company’s health care market has slumped badly as cash-strapped hospitals have held off on making investments in expensive technology upgrades, including the electronic medical records projects that were such a bright spot for CTG just four years ago.

The health care market, which accounted for a third of CTG’s revenues in 2012, provided less than a quarter of the company’s revenues last year. That decline has cost CTG a lot of money – $53 million in annual revenue from 2012 to 2015.

And it’s only gotten worse since then. During the second quarter of this year, health care clients provided less than 19 percent of CTG’s shrinking revenues.

• CTG’s staffing business has always been heavily dependent on a handful of big clients. IBM Corp. has long been CTG’s biggest client, accounting for 30 percent of the company’s revenues so far this year.

That’s one of the few bright spots for CTG this year: Its IBM business has actually grown by nearly $3 million during the first half of this year.

But it’s a different story for CTG’s No. 2 client – computer maker Lenovo, which accounted for nearly 10 percent of the company’s revenues during the first half of this year. Its business with CTG has been shrinking, dropping by more than $8 million during the first half, more than offsetting the good news from IBM.

Crumlish thinks the Lenovo work is stabilizing and will start growing again.

He can only hope for the same from the rest of CTG’s business.

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To: richardred who wrote (4185)8/5/2016 7:17:08 AM
From: richardred
   of 6850
More consolidation in the crane business.

Clearlake Capital sells AmQuip Crane to Apollo Global August 4, 2016By Luisa Beltran

Apollo Global Management LLC has acquired AmQuip Crane Rental LLC from Clearlake Capital Group LP. Financial terms weren’t announced. Clearlake acquired AmQuip, which provides rental lifting services to North American energy, industrial and other markets, in October 2014. In connection with the acquisition, Apollo has simultaneously closed the acquisition of Maxim Crane Works LP and plans to combine Maxim Crane with AmQuip. Harris Williams & Co and Oppenheimer & Co Inc served as financial advisors to AmQuip and Clearlake. Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth and Cooley LLP served as legal advisors to AmQuip.


Trevose, PA & Santa Monica, CA – August 4, 2016 – Clearlake Capital Group, L.P. (together with its affiliates, “Clearlake”) announced today that AmQuip Crane Rental LLC (“AmQuip” or the “Company”), a leading lifting solutions and crane rental provider to industrial clients across North America, has been acquired by certain funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management, LLC (NYSE: APO) (together with its consolidated subsidiaries, “Apollo”). The transaction was completed on July 29, 2016 and financial terms were not disclosed.

In connection with the AmQuip transaction, Apollo simultaneously closed the acquisition of Maxim Crane Works, L.P., which Apollo plans to combine with AmQuip to create a premier lifting solutions provider with a modern crane rental fleet comprised of more than 1,950 cranes, a comprehensive set of value-added service capabilities and a broad geographic footprint across North America.

Founded in 1967 and acquired by Clearlake in October 2014, AmQuip is a leading provider of manned and bare rental lifting solutions to the North American downstream energy, industrial, non-residential construction and other end markets. The Company serves more than 6,600 customers across more than 35 states through a network of 13 branch locations, and operates one of the youngest crane fleets in the industry with more than 550 units ranging in lift capacity from six to 716 tons.

“The strategic transformation that we have executed at AmQuip in partnership with the AmQuip team represents an exciting success story,” said José E. Feliciano, Founding Partner at Clearlake. “When we acquired AmQuip, we identified the Company as a unique asset that would benefit from our proprietary framework for value creation by focusing on optimizing operations, investing in our people and executing on a new growth strategy while leveraging our prior lifting solutions and crane rental sector experience. We are proud to have worked with the AmQuip management team to accelerate the Company’s growth over the last few years, achieve a strong outcome for our limited partners and position the Company for continued success.”

“We are thrilled to have had the opportunity to partner with Clearlake, and appreciative of the strong value-added sponsorship and resources that the Clearlake team dedicated to our business as we pursued organic growth by investing in our team, deploying significant capital to our crane fleet and providing our customers with the highest quality of service with a best in class safety record,” said Al Bove, CEO of AmQuip.

“We are pleased to have sponsored AmQuip through a time of significant growth,” added Arta Tabaee, a principal at Clearlake. “We are strong believers in AmQuip’s vision, people and the tremendous value the Company brings to this new platform. We believe AmQuip is very well positioned for the future, and we are excited for the AmQuip team as they take the business to new levels of success.”

Harris Williams & Co. and Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. served as financial advisors to AmQuip and Clearlake. Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth and Cooley LLP served as legal advisors to AmQuip.

About Clearlake

Clearlake Capital Group, L.P. is a private investment firm with a sector-focused approach. The firm seeks to partner with world-class management teams by providing patient, long-term capital to dynamic businesses that can benefit from Clearlake’s operational and strategic expertise. The firm’s core target sectors include technology, communications and business services; industrials, energy and power; and consumer products and services. Clearlake currently has approximately $3.5 billion of assets under management. More information is available at

About AmQuip

Headquartered in Trevose, PA, AmQuip provides highly specialized, complex lifting solutions, offering a differentiated value proposition to its customers in North America. A leader in the crane rental and solutions market, AmQuip operates a fleet of more than 550 cranes and specializes in the provision of fully operated rental services, bare rentals, value added consultation services and complete setup and logistics support to its target clientele in the refinery, petrochemical, industrial, non-residential construction, and other sectors. For more information, please visit

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To: richardred who wrote (4202)8/5/2016 7:26:17 AM
From: richardred
   of 6850
COTT making a coffee acquisition. The pickings are getting slim and IMO JVA is riper than ever.

Cott to acquire S&D Coffee Aug. 4, 2016 - by Monica Watrous

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S&D is the largest coffee and tea manufacturer and supplier to food service in the United States.

TORONTO — Cott Corp., a producer of beverages for retailers, brand owners and distributors, has entered into a definitive stock purchase agreement to acquire S&D Coffee & Tea, the largest coffee and tea manufacturer and supplier to restaurants and convenience stores in the United States, for a purchase price of approximately $355 million on a debt and cash free basis.

Based in Concord, N.C., S&D was founded by J. Roy Davis Sr. and Lawrence Switzer to supply fresh roasted coffee to local and regional grocery stores in 1927. After his father’s death, J. Roy Davis Jr. expanded the business in 1965 to independent restaurants seeking to serve a growing demand for premium coffee and iced tea away from home. Over the years, the family-owned business grew into private enterprise with more than $550 million in estimated revenues this year. The acquisition is expected to enable further development and acceleration of S&D’s business model, according to the company.

S&D will become a subsidiary of Cott and will continue to operate under the S&D Coffee & Tea name.

Following the completion of the transaction, S&D will become a subsidiary of Cott and will continue to operate under the S&D Coffee & Tea name. Ron Hinson, president and chief executive officer, will remain in his role, and the management team will retain its responsibilities. The company said it will continue to innovate in coffee, tea and liquid extracts, and the business will remain in Concord.

Ron Hinson, president and c.e.o. of S&D Coffee & Tea
“The Davis family, who founded S&D, deserves our gratitude for all they have done for our company, community and industry,” Mr. Hinson said. “Generations of people have benefitted from their vision, leadership and generosity.

“We could not be more pleased by what the future holds for our stakeholders, including employees and customers, due to this new strategic combination. The synergies S&D has with Cott, whether technology, supply chain, product, distribution channels or markets, are abundantly clear.”

As one of the leading providers in direct-to-consumer beverage services, Cott operates global businesses in office coffee services, direct-to-home and office water delivery and retail segments. The company’s portfolio includes coffee, brewed tea, bottled water, carbonated soft drinks, shelf-stable juice, still and sparkling waters, energy and sports drinks, ready-to-drink teas and micro-ground coffee, hot chocolate and cereals. Prior to the S&D acquisition, Cott employs more than 12,500 people with operations in 21 countries. With more than $3.3 billion in revenue, Cott is publicly listed on the New York Stock Exchange (COT) and the Toronto Stock Exchange (BCB.TO).

Jerry Fowden, c.e.o. of Cott
“The acquisition of S&D enables us to become a leading player in the coffee and tea categories due to their excellence as a manufacturer and their prominence as an elite supplier in the restaurant and convenience retail segments,” said Jerry Fowden, chief executive officer of Cott. “With S&D now part of the Cott family, we can further leverage cost efficiencies and growth opportunities across all the Cott companies.”

He added: "The addition of S&D brings our better-for-you beverage platform to over 65% of our adjusted EBITDA on a pro forma basis with carbonated soft drinks representing just 12% of adjusted EBITDA. After closing the S&D acquisition, we will have a leading position in the coffee and tea food service industry in North America, which is an excellent complement to our leading HOD water, office coffee and filtration business."

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From: richardred8/8/2016 10:17:22 AM
   of 6850
New buy today HAR - HARMAN INTERNATIONAL INDUSTRIES. This on an acquisition target Idea for APPL by Jake Straw. This for which I agree. IMO It has become a more timely acquisition speculation now, than before.

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From: richardred8/9/2016 12:37:56 PM
   of 6850
RE- LNCE speculation

UK-based potato chip brand Tyrrells is to be acquired by US SkinnyPop owner Amplify Snack Brands.

P.S. Not to be confused with Terrells of Syracuse. I'm actually familiar with, and on occasion buy Terrells & Jeans. Jeans chips is also based in Syracuse N.Y.

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To: richardred who wrote (4222)8/10/2016 10:11:55 AM
From: richardred
   of 6850
Added out of the money Jan 2017 call options in HAR today.

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