The Los Angeles investment firm that has hounded Advocat for more than three years has cut its stake in the local senior housing venture nearly in half.
Led by Paul Kessler, Bristol Capital Advisors first pressured the management of Brentwood-based Advocat in August of 2006 – after his buyout offer was rebuffed – saying the company was not throwing off enough cash and was considering imprudent acquisitions. Since then, Kessler has repeatedly pressed for major strategic shifts and changes in governance as well as board representation.
Those days appear to be over.
In a filing Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Bristol said it now owns about 231,000 shares of Advocat, 45 percent less than in mid-May, when Kessler nominated himself and an ally for the company’s board. In terms of percentages, Bristol’s stake has fallen from 7.4 percent to 4.1 percent in five months.
Speaking to NashvillePost.com, Kessler said his firm's move reflects a rebalancing of his firm's broader holdings, which generally contains between 40 and 80 stocks.
"From a portfolio perspective, there are a lot of opportunities out there," he said. "This is a very interesting market to say the least."
Kessler wouldn't say whether his team is still selling Advocat – as a shareholder owning less than 5 percent, Bristol no longer has to file public reports – but did say the company is headed in the right direction.
"They're hard-working guys who are trying to make all the right moves," he said of Advocat's management.
Advocat President and CEO William Council on Friday told NashvillePost.com his most recent conversation with Kessler was about a month ago on a different topic, but added that Kessler did not indicate he was trimming his stake in Advocat.
Shares of Advocat (Ticker: AVCA) closed up more than 4 percent Friday and were unchanged today. Over the past 10 weeks, they've risen almost 150 percent. Still, that move has taken them back only to where they traded in August of last year.
- ALEX B FRUIN INHERITANCE TRUST; CANDACE F STEFANSIC INHERITANCE TRUST; CANDANCE F STEFANSIC INHERITANCE TRUST; FRUIN, ALEX B TRUSTEE; FRUIN ALEX B INHERITANCE TRUST; STEFANSIC, CANDACE F TRUSTEE; STEFANSIC CANDACE F INHERITANCE TRUST; STEFANSIC CANDANCE F INHERITANCE TRUST
- ROSS, BRIDGETT D
- COOKE, ETHEN LANYARD TRUSTEE; COOKE, ETHEN LEWIS ESTATE
- JACOBS, JESSICA ALEXANDRA; JACOBS, ERIKA BESS