Update: this letter is almost certainly a fraud, as the fund does not exist meaning there is no credible LBO proposal, and what's worse it was written by a robot which makes us wonder: while the days of the short-squeeze ETF have come and gone, is the next big thing on Wall Street robot-generated fake LBO letters targeting the most shorted stocks?
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How do you make what had been a very good couple of years for tens of thousands of Avon Products shorts into an absolute nightmare of a day? By doing what PTG Partners just did when moments ago it announced that, out of the blue, it would like to purchase AVP for a price of $18.75 or nearly three times higher than the Avon stock price moments before the announcement. Because why pay double when triple would do.
However, even a quick skim of the so-called "proposal" especially the part that says "the Proposed Offer does not create any binding obligation, and no such binding obligation will arise " and "subject to satisfactory completion of due diligence, the redemption or termination of the rights plan, or "poison pill",if any,and negotiation and execution of a definitive written agreement"(sic), shows that PTG - whoever that is - may very well pay zero as the lobbed letter is nothing more than a contingency-riddled non-binding napkin with absolutely zero obligation to follow through on the proposal.
In fact, it may be nothing more than a desperate attempt to instigate a short squeeze by yet another UK "trader" living in their parents' basement.
Here is the full letter, which apparently was written by a dyslexic 5 year old or a robot:
PTG Capital Partners Announces Offer for Avon Products,INC.
PTG Capital Partners LTD. ("PTG Partners") announced today that it has submittedan offer to the board of directors of Avon Products,Inc.(the"Company") (NYSE:AVP) proposing to acquire all of the Company's outstanding stock, and outstanding options to acquire such shares, in a recommended cash tender offer at a price per share of US$18.75 (the "Proposed Offer"). The Proposed Offer is subject to satisfactory completion of due diligence, the redemption or termination of the rights plan, or "poison pill",if any,and negotiation and execution of a definitive written agreement. PTG Partners has substantial experience in managing acquisitions and is committed to working quickly to complete due diligence and execute a definitive agreement. PTG Partners expects to be able to complete such an agreement within 10 days from the beginning of the due diligence period. PTG Partners has requested that the Company respond promptly, to the Proposed Offer.
The Proposed Offer does not create any binding obligation, and no such binding obligation will arise unless and until a mutually satisfactory definitive agreement has been executed and delivered by the parties.
PTG Partners believes that a combination of the Company and PTG Partners would result in substantial benefits to both our shareholders and to the Company's shareholdersand employees.
Speaking of PTG which nobody has ever heard of, this is where the so-called company is located per the 8-K:
General Counsel and Secretary
PTG Capital Partners LTD.
125 Old Broad Street
London, UK, EC2NX 1AR
A quick call to the number listed goes straight to voicemail.
Even better, the listed law firm does not even exist:
Trose & Cox PLLC
777 Main Street
Fort Worth, TX 76102
Which means this is nothing but a "spoof" LBO - aka a prank takeover attemp.
Of course, whether PTG - if it even exists - has any intention of purchasing Avon, or merely bought some stock and hoped that the resultant massive short squeeze would allow it a quick and easy profit, is as of this moment unclear.
What is clear is that AVP has a short base of a whopping 20%, with the short interest soaring in recent months as the AVP price has tumbled. A massive short base which even the tiniest bullish catalyst can spook into a short covering scramble: something PTG was clearly relying on.
Which is perhaps another good reminder that a paper profit is never a real profit until it is actually booked.