Today, Sahm Adrangi is the Chief Investment Officer of Kerrisdale Capital, but it was in 2011 that he burst onto the investment scene by shorting several prominent Chinese companies, while also exposing their fraudulent practices. In a recent report, Sahm Adrangi and Kerrisdale Capital set their sites on St. Joe Company, which was recently given a valuation of $1 billion. In Sahm Adrangi’s report, he cites much of the land owned by St. Joe Company, as “over-valued and over-hyped,” as the majority of the land is separated from the prime real estate locations of the Panama Beach area. According to Sahm Adrangi’s assessment, St. Joe Company is 40 percent less valuable than what is being publicly projected. While this possibility presents a major blow to the shareholders of St. Joe Company, a number of new issues regarding their primary shareholder, Fairholme Fund, as well as the longstanding stagnation regarding commercial development, complicate the whole of the problem exponentially.
St. Joe Company was recently given this high valuation due to the potential of their plan to commercialize the Panama Beach area, building a new retiree destination. The major is issues lies in the fact that, much of the land to be commercialized by St. Joe Company, is swampland located in remote areas. These areas are not likely to be commercialized in the near future, and much of St. Joe Company’s prime real estate, has already been used.
Fairholme Fund currently owns 22.7 million shares of St. Joe Company stock, making them the largest shareholder. New regulations implemented by the Securities and Exchange Commission will require that 10 million of Fairholme Fund’s St. Joe Company shares, be liquidated. According to Sahm Adrangi, this liquidation process would need to be completed by December 1, 2018, but with the number of trading days left on the calendar, this would be a virtual impossibility without affecting the share price of St. Joe Company. The role of Bruce Berkowitz also presents a major problem for St. Joe Company, being that he is both, the fund manager of Fairholme Fund, and the chairman of the board at St. Joe Company.