OSTR SPAC – Multi-Focus Lens On Real Estate

real estate landmap

Intro

Sponsored by Oyster Enterprises, this company plans on investing in mainly real estate, tech, and a few other industries. Their chosen method is to target early-stage companies that “exhibit the potential to change the industries in which they participate [in].” They believe that with the support of the management team, and the sponsor, they can maximize “stockholder value by improving operations.” They want to focus on the said target industries because they believe there are “many potential business combination targets” that could then be converted into “attractive public companies.”

Management Team

CEO – Health B. Freeman

Health B. Freeman Mr. Freeman graduated from Duke University in 2002 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. He is not only one of the leading members of Oyster Enterprises but has also been serving as President of Alden Global, the company that manages Oyster Enterprises, since 2014. Before all of this, he worked in Smith Management (predecessor of Alden Global) “managing and investing in companies with an opportunistic and catalyst-driven approach” (since 2006). But his first-ever job was actually an investment banker at the Company Peter J. Solomon, “here he specialized in mergers & acquisitions, restructurings, and refinancings.” It’s easy to see the vast amount of experience that CEO Mr. Freeman brings to the company. He has countless years of “investment research” experience and holding a lot of different “operational responsibilities” as a leader. In the present, he is serving multiple positions such as “Vice Chairman of MNG Enterprises” and “Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Freeman Center at Jewish Life at Duke University”.

CFO – Joshua Kleban

Mr. Kleban earned his “Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Queen’s University in Canada in 1993”. He has been serving the position of Chief Financial Officer of Alden Global since 2012. Before joining Alden, he served as COO & CFO of Attara Capital from 2009 to 2012. Then before this, from 2006 to 2009 he served the position of “Director of Fund Accounting and Administration at Atticus Capital”, in which (during that time) “its peak assets exceeded $20 Billion.” Finally from 1999 to 2006, Mr. Kleban the Vice President of Finance at Everest Capital. Before that, he “worked for KPMG in Bermuda and Ellis Foster” (located in Canada). Now in the present, in addition to being the CFO of Alden Global, he is also “a member of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada and a Chartered Financial Analyst.”

CLO/COO/Secretary – Michael J. Monticciolo

Mr. Monticciolo earned a “Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Ohio State University and a J.D. from Hofstra University School of Law.” In addition to serving the roles of CLO, COO, and Secretary, he has also served as “Chief Legal and Compliance Officer of Alden Global” since joining the company in 2014. From his early years to now, he has served positions in both the investment management industry and the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission. From 2007 up to 2014, he served as the “Chief Legal Officer and Chief Compliance Officer of Gruss Capital Management”.

Director – Martin R. Wade, III

Mr. Wade is a member of OSTR’S board of directors. What makes this person’s background very unique is the fact that after graduating from West Virginia University (in 1971) with a degree in Business Administration, he chooses to serve in the US Air Force as a 2nd Lt. For the next few years, he would work his way up to the rank of Captain, and get honorably discharged in 1975. At the same time during these 4 years, he also worked on getting his MBA degree from the University of Wyoming, graduating at the same time he got honorably discharged. His first job was working in the investment banking industry at a corporation called Bankers Trust Company. Then in 1980 he joined “Lehman Brothers Kuhn Loeb” and became their Head of Sales and Divestitures “within the M/A Department.” About a decade or so later, in 1992 he became the “National Head of Investment Banking” of the company Price Waterhouse. About 5 years later, in 1997 he changed positions yet again and teamed up with Salomon Brothers, forming a Divestiture Sales Group “in the Mergers and Acquisition Department.” What’s remarkable about Mr. Wade’s decades of experience and his entire investment banking career is that he’s completed over 200 different business transactions, which is no small feat. In addition to this, he’s also “been a member of eighteen Boards of Directors and served as Chairman of eight and Chief Executive of three.”

Director – Maz Akram

Mr. Akram is also a member of this corporation’s board of directors. Now his unique background lies in his experience working for several non-profit organizations in developing countries, such as the “International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies”. This is important because this mean’s he has a wider range of experience, working in not just “normal” corporate environments but also in more poor or lower-end places, giving him unique experiences and knowledge of what business and general life is like for others abroad (in 3rd world countries). Mr. Akram got his undergraduate degree in “Chemistry from Princeton University with a Minor from the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs and his MBA in Finance from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.” Another interesting fact about him is he has a very vast background, having experience in private equity investing, financings/mergers/acquisitions/, portfolio company management, and more. He’s also done a lot of work “sourcing proprietary deal flow in a variety of business sectors” such as those of retail, financial institutions, etc.

Deal Insights

There haven’t been many deals made that are important to discuss or have had a big impact. If interested in knowing a bit more about the company and doing your own research about them, click here.

Sponsor Analysis/Sectors of Focus

Oyster Enterprises wants to focus on specifically private companies that can give the stockholders more value when investing. They want to focus on 4 aspects:

  1. An attractive and solid valuation entry point
  2. By utilizing operational and strategic improvements to create a plan to “unlock incremental value”
  3. having full access to both public and private financing sources.
  4. Full use of “public company governance”

This company believes that through their partnerships with private companies, by offering them a unique option of “partial liquidity” (by transferring their legacy to a public company), they can then drive their target business to a higher level of “performance and value.” Another important point is that want to invest (possibly) in early-stage companies that exhibit the potential to grow in their respective industries; basically, these companies are possible to show “sustained high levels of revenue growth.”

Conclusion

Overall, this SPAC and its sponsor OSTR are very unique, to say the least. First off, an interesting point to say is the lack of any deals so far, done by OSTR or its SPAC. Maybe in the near future or future, we’ll see some big progress made, but as of now, I believe it’s pretty stagnant, although not in a bad way by all means. The most likely cause is the company and this SPAC specifically is pretty new to its said industry, so they are probably focusing more on a stronger foundation or foothold, rather than immediately expanding out deals and such. This is definitely not abnormal among newer emerging SPAC’s. Another aspect about this company is its catering towards its clients: they want to utilize methods that grant the most value to their stockholders, in a very dedicated manager too. A final point to bring up is that you should also consider that the investment banking industry is also sort of a gamble, as there are lots of possibilities for certain values to increase and decrease right after, so any company going into this industry definitely should be a bit cautious.

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