Antonio Garufi presented his in-depth investment thesis on CIR Group (Milan: CIR) at Best Ideas 2016.

CIR Group is an Italian industrial holdings company trading at a 40+% discount to an estimate of NAV. The overly negative perception of the market is motivated by CIR’s failure in the Sorgenia investment, which was written down to zero after a troubled debt restructuring. Nonetheless, CIR has several underappreciated assets in the portfolio, such as controlling stakes in the Espresso group (a dominant Italian media company), the Sogefi group (an auto parts manufacturer), and a private investment in the nursing home company KOS, which is expected be listed in the next year (a very successful investment). Other minor assets are PE funds and NPL investments, which could monetize soon. The company has a strong cash position, representing 55% of the market capitalization at recent prices. Management has been pursuing an aggressive share buyback program.

About the instructors:

Antonio Garufi is a portfolio manager at Astor Investment Advisors, based in Milan. He has 11 years of experience in finance of which 3 working for JPMorgan in London. He then went on the buyside at Astor where he analyzed and executed investment opportunities across a number of sectors and asset classes, focusing on healthcare. He graduated from Bocconi University in 2005, where he is currently lecturer, has a Phd in Business Administration and attended the Value Investing Program at Columbia Business School.

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