The once dazzling online retailer's shares hit an all-time low…
Do you remember, and you should because it was three months ago, the surprise SurfStitch v SurfStitch blood feud?
To quote that story,
Just a few hours ago, the CEO and co-founder, Justin Cameron, quit his gig “to join forces with a private equity group, in preparation for a possible bid for the company.”
Meanwhile, the other co-founder of SurfStitch, the brunette Lex Pedersen, has been left to rock to and fro in his cubicle! Blood feud?
In The Australian newspaper, Eli Greenblat reports: “Left stranded is Mr Cameron’s surfing buddy and fellow SurfStitch co-founder Lex Pedersen, who remains at the company as managing director in charge of its North American online business Swell.
“Surfers have been known to get into violent punch-ups over accusations of being burnt, or having another surfer drop in and steal their wave, now at SurfStitch it will be private equity raiders, lawyers and merchant bankers puffing out their chests and bracing for a rumble.”
Three months later, the once dazzling biz is still doin’ it tough, its shares hitting an all-time low of under thirty cents on Friday.
In today’s business news, and as reported by financial reporter Elizabeth Knight:
Surfing online retailer SurfStitch has comprehensively moved from being one of the up-and-coming Australian players to a corporate mystery.
A series of strange events began in early March when its (then) highly regarded chief executive Justin Cameron abandoned his job claiming he was teaming up with private equity to buy the company.
He seems to have since vanished, leaving shareholders to wonder if the private equity play was a hoax. Both Cameron and the would-be suitors now appear to be ghosts.
The board of SurfStitch is weighing its options as its share price remains depressed and the near-term earnings prospects look equally grim. On Friday morning, the share price fell to its all-time lows – briefly dipping more than 11 per cent to below 40¢ in morning trade.
After Cameron dropped his sensational departure bomb on the SurfStitch board via email in early March shareholders were left both confused at his unexpected decision and salivating at the prospect of a bid for their stock.
Three months later, no private equity player has stumped up with an offer – indeed, the company’s board hasn’t had even a whiff of an approach from a would-be suitor, rumoured to have been TSG Consumer Partners – and even more bizarrely the board has not heard from Cameron at all.
If the ignominy of the May 4 downgrade wasn’t enough, the company also received some unwanted attention from the stock exchange, which issued a query to the company about the fall in the share price and the spike in volume leading up to the earnings warning.
So what of Cameron? Some say he is somewhere in the US, others say that attempts by SurfStitch shareholders to contact him have garnered no response.
Stranger still was that he left $400,000 of options on the table when he walked out the door – after declaring to the chairman that he was “deeply conflicted”.
Former investment banker Cameron founded the company with the now chief executive Pedersen.