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Confession Of A Value Investor - Part 2

A tale of how intelligence and serendipity combined to create the killing of a lifetime

The next story is about a stock which was the best listed play in that sector at that point. This was in early 2004. This company was the 2nd biggest in its sector, and the sector had been beaten into oblivion for perhaps a decade or so. This company had a strong presence in the markets it operated in, had a good appeal amongst its consumers, its balance sheet was in good shape, and there was a macro tailwind on the horizon. It used to have a profitable book despite it being in a sector where it is not exactly customary to leave anything for the taxman. The best thing was that it was available at Book Value, with a lot of hidden value in the enormous amount of assets it owned. It had a maze of subsidiaries, associates and JVs. I requested the company for the balance sheets of all these, and the company officials parted with them after much fuss.