The largest investor in Brentwood-based Advocat says its $50 million bid to acquire the nursing home operator still stands, especially after the company reported "disappointing" second-quarter profits.
In a letter to shareholders, John McMullan said he and his Covington Investments team "continue to see little real evidence of positive execution" from Advocat's managers. During the second quarter, they point out, revenues dipped and operating profits fell significantly. Furthermore, McMullen added, CEO Kelly Gill's plans to emphasize acquisitions going forward don't inspire much confidence.
"We see this next phase as unlikely, uncertain and, moreover, premature at best given that the Company is yet to demonstrate any ability to improve performance at its existing portfolio of properties," said McMullan, whose group owns about 15 percent of Brentwood-based Advocat.
Covington went public with its $8.50-per-share offer in May but was quickly shot down by Advocat's board. McMullan says the company's refusal to discuss the bid is a serious failure in governance that benefits only Advocat insiders.
"We expect you are, in turn, increasingly concerned and frustrated, as are we, with Advocat's cavalier attitude about this matter and utter disregard for the views and concerns of its outside shareholders," McMullan wrote. "Your views should be equally, if not more, important than Advocat's inside shareholders."
Covington's public resurfacing — read the full statement here — have given Advocat shares (Ticker: AVCA) a nice boost. In afternoon trading, the shares were up more than 5 percent to almost $6.20. That's still more than 25 percent below Covington's bid.