Looks like it may be game over for grillmaker Weber Inc.'s (WEBR) rather short history as a publicly traded company.
On Monday, BDT Capital Partners made a non-binding bid of $8.05 a share for the Class A shares of Weber that it does not already own; that bid was accepted. If that sounds like déjà vu all over again, that's because BDT Capital also made a bid back in October for those Weber shares at $6.25 a share. I held out, believing the bid could be raised; $6.25 a share was an insult. However, the 29% increase in the takeout price is a minor victory at best.
Weber went public in August 2021 at $14 a share, which was below the original expected range of $15 to $17. By its third day of trading, WEBR breached $20 intraday, but it has been a rough ride ever since.
Weber shares bottomed around $5 in late October. Weber suffered from a combination of bad timing for an initial public offering, challenging economic conditions, poor results and a lack of investor interest. In its five reported quarters as a publicly traded company, Weber delivered four negative surprises, so the analysts covering WEBR didn't get the company, either.
Along the way, Weber often had significant short interest, and my own position was often out on loan, generating decent income given the sometimes-steep loan rates. That eased the pain a bit, but I have closed the position.
Meanwhile, high-end wood pellet barbecue grillmaker Traeger Inc. (COOK) , which went public just days before WEBR, has suffered even more than Weber. Traeger shares debuted at $18 a share, hit $32 the following month and closed Tuesday at $3.12.
Traeger shares rallied 45% between mid-October and mid-November, likely on the back of BDT Capital's offer to take WEBR private, but most of that gain has evaporated. In addition, there has been no bump this time around in conjunction with BDT Capital's raised and accepted offer for WEBR.
Traeger ended its latest quarter with $8 million in cash and $446 million in debt. Growing inventories have also been an issue. Consensus estimates are calling for Traeger to turn profitable on an annual basis in 2024.