Additional Math Pages & Resources

Friday, April 29, 2011

What To Do When Your Math Is Just Not Good Enough

Sometimes problems come your way in life, and the math skills you possess just don't seem to be enough to get you through the problem. Since I create and solve dozens of math problems a day, I'm pretty good at it, but today I am baffled.

I recently inherited some stocks. See if you can follow their trail ... starting with an iron ore mine in Labrador.

Bison Petroleum & Minerals was a Canadian exploration company founded in 1960 to consolidate 4 other companies. In 1987, the name became United Bison

United Bison then became Nalcap Holdings on the basis of 1 Nalcap share for every 7.7 United Bison shares.

In 1968 Pacific West Realty Trust was created. In 1988 PWRT investors swapped their holdings for stock in Asiamerica Equities Ltd., owned by Stone Mark Capital,  a shell company on the Vancouver Stock Exchange.

Asiamerica then bought controlling shares in Nalcap Holdings (formerly Javelin International Ltd. and Bison) and also gained control of Constitution Insurance Co. of Canada.
 
At the end of 1991, Asiamerica changed its name to Mercer International to reflect the company's move away from investments. Mercer acquired pulp and paper mills in East Germany and British Columbia.

By 1994 management decided to split the pulp and paper business from financial services and mining. The Nalcap assets were spun-off as Arbatax International Inc. (iron ore royalties, insurance, and real estate), on the basis of 1.5 Arbatax for every 1 Nalcap share.

Arbatax eventually became MFC Bancorp, a Swiss and Hong Kong finance and banking business.

In 2002, MFC distributed the assets of Mymetics, a Swiss bio-medical research company, to its shareholders in lieu of cash dividend. MFC shareholders got .95 shares of Mymetics for each share of MFC. Mymetics does vaccines research but only trades for 15 cents a share.
 
MFC next changed its name to KHD Humboldt Wedag which took over MFC's NASDAQ listing.

KHD then split into two separate companies - Terra Nova Royalty Company which moved to the NYSE ($8 a share), and KHD which trades in Frankfurt ($7 a share).

KHD spun off some other business and investments of MFC to shareholders, creating a thrid company Mass Financial, which did no US business but traded in Vienna ($6 a share).

In 2010 Terra Nova did a one-for-one stock swap to acquire Mass Financial back.

Question 1: What are my handful of shares in Pacific West Realty Trust from 1973 worth?
Answer 1: It is difficult to say at this time.

Question 2: What are my small stack of shares in Arbatax from 1996 worth?
Answer 2: It is difficult to say at this time.

Question: What are my huge pile of shares in Mymetics worth?
Answer: About seventy-five bucks.

How do I find out the answers? Here is some advice I was given by our estate attorney:  

You don’t need to worry about it, they do. All we have to say is “Sell All Shares” on the Stock Transfer forms and they will cash out and send you a check.  

Thank goodness.