I’ve been pretty hard on Sessa Capital and its slate of nominees in its proxy fight with Ashford Hospitality Prime. It isn’t personal. However, as a shareholder, my due diligence into this slate of nominees fails to turn up any reason why they should take control of a hospitality company when nobody involved has any hospitality experience.
Moreover, the strategic blundering by Sessa Capital in the proxy fight only serves to underscore that the individuals involved have no business being in a strategic fight for a company. If it can’t handle that, why would I expect Sessa Capital to handle the strategic direction of the company it seeks to control?
Examining the dueling press releases and presentations between the management of Ashford Hospitality Prime and Sessa Capital, it is apparent which party knows what it’s doing and which party remains stuck in amateur hour.
Sessa Capital puts out one press release after another, and has put out an investor presentation, and the only thing these publications do is complain. Not only do they make allegations that are not accurate and show how clueless Sessa is in regards to AHP, but they offer nothing in the way of actionable strategy for the company should it take control.
WHAT IS THE PLAN, GUYS?
Not only have several complaints been neutered by AHP management’s recent moves, including the search for a new CEO and new independent board members to join the present team, but AHP just put out a presentation that also shows why it has the right management.
Pages 14 and 15 in particular show AHP management’s response to Sessa’s complaints. The responses are detailed and accurate.
Sessa continues to harp on the unfair termination fee should the AHP board get replaced, yet it seems to think this is something that can just be done away with. The problem is that it’s contractual. It was also in place during and after the spin-off so if it had that much of a problem with it, why did it launch the proxy fight to begin with? Why not take a position in AINC to offset the fee, which investors may do as well?