Tropicana Forum Editorial by Paul Goldfinger,MD, Editor of TropicanaForum.com
Jan 5, 2021: A large in-person turnout was present for this voting event. Some votes were cast by proxy. The count was quickly done while everyone waited.
135 shareholders voted. 102 were needed to pass. 53 voted yes to sell to Carlyle. 82 voted no.
Brian Chase said that there are “potentially other deals” available. The Co-Op board can decide to vacate the official Murex stop date of February 6 in order to get going with other bids.
Although a majority voted no, we have to assume that a majority would vote yes if a better deal were to be found.
During the last Murex vote in November, there were 101 voters who were happy with the Murex offering which included the same amount of shareholder gains as now, but also many other components. That vote failed by only 4 votes.
The vote was repeated now because Murex had increased the amount of dollars promised for infrastructure and made other new promises as well. It seemed likely that the sale would be approved this time.
However, less than a week ago, an “unsolicited” company, MHM, suddenly materialized with an offer, and that offer was distributed to all shareholders.
Their hat was tossed into the ring by our lawyer Brian Chase and the Co-Op board. That surprise suitor said that it would offer a substantial increase in payment to each shareholder, but of course, MHM was not vetted, so their offering remains to be examined.
But today’s dramatic result does suggest that money has now become the prime motivator for most shareholders, since the Murex promises were quite enticing in terms of making the park better and increasing home values.
Now, all other contenders should be identified and then invited here so that we could say, “Show us the money!” Just give them each the list of improvements we want, and only the money would be at play.
And a realtor should now be hired to bring potential buyers with deep pockets onto the playing field. The idea of a realtor should not be dismissed even though they would earn a substantial commission. But at least we would not be at the mercy of insiders with conflicts of interest.
This vote was compromised by the last minute appearance of MHM, and the suspicion of insider influence hangs in the air like a London fog.