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Samsonite shares plunge for a second day after short-seller report

Published
today May 25, 2018
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Shares in Samsonite International plunged for a second day in a row after a short seller accused the world's largest luggage maker of questionable accounting practices and poor corporate governance.


In a report on Thursday, Blue Orca Capital questioned accounting practices, including those used in its 2016 acquisition of the Tumi brand and said the company did not deserve to trade at the same sort of premium valuations as other luxury brands - Reuters


The stock slid as much as 14 percent to a 14-month low at HK$26.35 as it resumed trade after a trading suspension. It has lost roughly $1.3 billion in market value since Wednesday's close.

In a report on Thursday, Blue Orca Capital questioned accounting practices, including those used in its 2016 acquisition of the Tumi brand and said the company did not deserve to trade at the same sort of premium valuations as other luxury brands.

It valued Samsonite at HK$17.59 a share, 43 percent below its last traded price of HK$30.70.

Samsonite, which is now valued at around $4.8 billion, said late on Thursday that the criticism was "one-sided" and "misleading" and it reserved the right to take legal action.

It added that Blue Orca's opinions might not be aligned with those of shareholders and might be intended to undermine confidence in the firm and its management.

"We intend to draw a line under this matter as quickly as possible, and move on to focus on what is important – the future growth of our business," Chairman Timothy Parker said in a separate statement.

The luggage group said it would provide additional information in due course.
Samsonite's shares hit a record high of HK$38.60 on April 4 on strong sales of Tumi-branded goods and market expectations of further improvement in the luxury retail sector.

Blue Orca was launched this month by Soren Aandahl, a Texas-based short-seller who previously co-founded Glaucus Research, which has attacked several firms in the Asia-Pacific region.

These include Australia-listed fund manager Blue Sky Alternative Investments Ltd , whose shares have fallen more than 70 percent since Glaucus claimed in late March that it had over-valued assets and exaggerated its performance. Blue Sky has said the claims were incorrect and misleading.

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