Callidus shares tumble after report on Catalyst valuations: Reuters

Shares of Canadian specialty lender Callidus Capital Corp lost as much as 21.6 percent in two trading sessions, hitting an all-time low, after a Reuters report on Friday raised questions about the valuations that parent firm Catalyst Capital Group assigned to some of its portfolio companies.

Callidus, which offers high-interest loans to distressed companies and went public in 2014, is one of the largest holdings in Catalyst’s private equity funds. Among other things, the Reuters report said that Callidus has so far been unable to find a buyer to take the company private. Catalyst said in a press release last year that it was targeting a price of $18 to $22 a share.

Callidus shares dropped 6 percent on Friday. The slide continued on Monday, with the stock falling as much as 16.5 percent to hit a record low before ending down 6.4 percent at $6.23, a drop of about 39 percent since the start of the year.

The Reuters report, citing various sources and documents, also noted that at least three other of Catalyst’s major assets have struggled to find buyers at the firm’s valuations.

A spokesman for Callidus and Catalyst, which are both headed by Newton Glassman, declined to comment for this story on Monday.

Catalyst, in a statement issued on Friday after Reuters published its reporting on the firm, said that the news organization was “unobservant” of the nature of private equity and of Catalyst’s accomplishments in “rebuilding broken companies.”

“We can only stand dumbfounded by the failure of Reuters to understand the basic value creation principles required to grow companies and the care we take to protect and maximize returns,” Catalyst said.

After Callidus reported its most recent quarterly earnings in November, National Bank analyst Jaeme Gloyn said in a report, “We believe recent performance materially impacts both the probability and the valuation of a privatization transaction.” Callidus said on Monday it would report fourth-quarter results on April 2.

(Reporting by John Tilak in Toronto and Lawrence Delevingne in New York)

(This story has been edited by Kirk Falconer, editor of PE Hub Canada)

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