Circuit City's Largest Holder Joins Activist Efforts (CC, BBI)

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A firm called HBK INVESTMENTS, L.P. has just changed its tune regarding its investment in Circuity City Stores Inc. (NYSE: CC).  As of December 31, 2007, HBK-I owned or controlled a combined 15,420,653 shares, which was list as 9.16% of the outstanding shares.  What is interesting is that this was said to be a passive stake.  Not any longer, according to their latest filing with the SEC that went to a 13D filing.  Here are some tidbits from the 13D filing:

  • HBK Master originally acquired the shares of Common Stock for investment in the ordinary course of its business… believed, among other things, that the shares of Common Stock, when purchased, were undervalued and represented an attractive investment opportunity. The Reporting Persons have had, and expect to continue to have, discussions with management, other shareholders of the Issuer and other relevant parties (including Blockbuster) concerning the business, operations, management, governance, strategy and future plans of the Issuer.

This also notes that on April 28, 2008, HBK Capital Management sent a letter to Circuit City encouraging it to allow Blockbuster to perform due diligence in connection with its merger proposal and to commence good faith negotiations with Blockbuster regarding its proposal.  HBK Capital Management also has urged the board of directors of Circuit City to create a competitive bidding process in order to maximize shareholder value.

Shares of Circuity City are at $4.62, down 1.5% today.  Wattles was a small fish in comparison, but it looks like they have garnered more activist support now.   According to our data, HBK is also Circuit City’s largest shareholder.  Blockbuster Inc. (NYSE: BBI) shares are also down by about 1.3% today.

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Jon C. Ogg
April 28, 2008