Community Health Services (CHS) is a publicly traded stock. Friday was a wild day for CYH (the stock exchange symbol for CHS) when 29.13 million shares were traded—nearly ten times the usual number and 26 percent of the shares overall. One trade of nearly a million shares appeared to be a “sell,” contributed to the roller coaster day, but it was mostly buying that drove the overnight price from Thursday’s $6.11 to Saturday’s $7.50.
Most CYH ownership is by funds and banks, but a few individuals own a significant stake. Insiders, such as the Officers and Board members own about 4 percent.
The top three funds that own CHS (symbol CYH) are Shanda Holdings, Vanguard Group, and BlackRock Fund Advisors, which added to its holdings significantly as of August 4 to a ownership position slightly lower than Shanda. Those three own over 35 million of CHS’s total 111 million shares, or about 36 percent. But, Shanda (which we are told means “We”) is primarily owned by two people: Chen Tianqiao and his wife Chrissy Luo, Founder and Co-Founder, Shanda Chairman and Co-Chairman. Mr. Chen founded an Internet gaming company in Shanghai in 1999 and by 2004 it was China’s largest Internet company.
He is listed as the second richest investor in China, according to this Fortune International profile: http://fortune.com/2015/01/12/chinas-five-richest-investors/.
Widely recognized as one of the most innovative entrepreneurs globally, Chen has been credited with having pioneered and built the online game industry and the online literature industry in China. His wife Chrissy leads Shanda’s philanthropic efforts and manages the Group’s key relationships with leading universities and research institutions globally. She is also an active participant in Shanda’s investment efforts and is responsible for the finance, operations and administrative teams at Shanda.
Mr. Chen sold Shanda Games in 2014 and became the largest shareholder in CHS in 2016. His most recent filing shows that he spent $185.6 million and now owns 13.64 percent of the company with more than 15 million shares. So the Chens’ initial investment of $186 million is now worth approximately $100 million. As investors and entrepreneurs, this couple cannot be pleased by the stock performance the CHS management team is delivering.
So, here’s where the plot thickens: Mr. Chen recently changed his SEC filing from 13G to 13D, indicating that he no longer intends to guarantee that he will be a passive investor and may take a more active role in governing CHS, perhaps negotiating a board seat or promoting the sale of the company.
This leads to a few questions:
– Was Shanda Friday’s buyer? Did they want a larger ownership stake?
– Does Mr. Chen want to buy more shares at a lower price? And does he want to break up the company to optimize selling hospitals? His history is one of a patient investor, but one willing to sell a favored holding—like Shanda Games—for the right price.
– Was it BlackRock? Do they want new management? Certainly current management has delivered little to shareholders.
– Or, is there a new large owner?
– Finally, who sold all of those shares?