Mac nut company to buy back shares in going private
Hawaii’s largest macadamia nut farm has decided to cease being a public company where investors can buy and sell shares in the business over a stock exchange.
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Hawaii’s largest macadamia nut farm has decided
to cease being a public company where investors can buy and sell shares in the business over a stock exchange.
Royal Hawaiian Orchards LP announced Monday that it will remove its partnership shares from trading on an over-the-counter stock exchange following a move to buy out many small shareholders.
Hilo-based Royal Hawaiian said it’s making the change to reduce expenses connected with being a
public company, including fees to comply with federal securities law, tax reporting requirements and financial reports.
“We believe our status as a public partnership has not benefited our limited partners materially and also places unnecessary financial, management and competitive burdens on us,”
the company said in its
Royal Hawaiian estimated that it will save $770,000 annually by going private.
From 2000 to 2016 the company struggled with a cumulative loss of $18.9 million. Last year Royal Hawaiian earned $1.2 million compared with a $2 million loss the year before.
Royal Hawaiian was established in 1986 and previously known as ML Macadamia Orchards LP. The company farms about 5,400 acres of macadamia trees on Hawaii island and for most of its history sold raw nuts in bulk.
In 2012 Royal Hawaiian aimed to increase long-term earnings by making and selling its own line of packaged food products, including fruit snacks, chocolates, butter and milk. But that effort didn’t pan out, and the company sold that part of its business earlier this month to MacFarms LLC, a subsidiary of Australian-based Buderim Group Ltd. As payment, Royal Hawaiian received 11.2 million shares of stock in Buderim.
Royal Hawaiian said that if it had been successful with packaged food, it would have been bigger
and better able to absorb high costs of being a public company.
As part of going private, Royal Hawaiian intends to buy out shareholders who own fewer than 2,000 shares. These shareholders would receive $1.78 million for about 730,000 shares,
or $2.41 per share.
The per-share price equates to 110 percent of the weighted average closing price for Royal Hawaiian shares during
40 trading days prior to Monday.
As a result of the buyout, the number of shareholders is expected to shrink to fewer than 100 from 558. Denver-based investor and former Quark Software Inc. CEO Farhad “Fred” Ebrahimi owns a majority of Royal
Royal Hawaiian’s stock price closed up 5 cents at $2.15 Tuesday.