Pretend You Are Investing in Fantex, Not Arian Foster or Vernon Davis
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Here's a tip for those who are interested in investing in Fantex's offering of the future earnings streams of NFL stars Arian Foster of the Houston Texans and Vernon Davis of the San Francisco 49ers : Pretend you aren't.
That's because if you buy shares in Arian Foster or Vernon Davis's prospective offerings, you are also directly investing in Fantex's business of creating player stock listings. It's a little understood part of the offering that casts a pall over the whole premise of investing in Arian Foster's brand or that of Vernon Davis.
There are dozens of pages of risk factors attached to Arian Foster's IPO prospectus, however, skeptical investors probably don't have to read past page two of the over 150-page offering .
Here are the salient points: Fantex is listing a "convertible" tracking stock for 20% of Arian Foster's so-called brand income. In the very same offering, Fantex is also offering shares in the brokerage platform's common stock. If you buy Arian Foster's tracking stock, it can be convertible to Fantex platform common stock at any time and in any way the company's management sees fit.
Traditionally, in private equity deals the convertibility of a class of stock falls under the power of the investors. In Fantex's instance, the brokerage controls whether or not your interest in Arian Foster or Vernon Davis's brand income will turn into company common stock and with no influence whatsoever from investors.
Would Fantex be asking for such seemingly extraordinary conversion preferences if they didn't plan on exercising them? There is reason to be skeptical.
It also makes sense why most of the 150-plus page offering focuses on the financial situation of Fantex Inc., including income statements, balance sheets and cash flows of the money-losing service.
On page two of the offering, the company also makes clear that investors are putting their money in Fantex Inc.
"This is the initial public offering of Fantex Series Arian Foster Convertible Tracking Stock, which we refer to as Fantex Series Arian Foster. This is also an offering of shares of our platform common stock into which the shares of Fantex Series Arian Foster are convertible, and references in this prospectus to an offering of shares of Fantex Series Arian Foster shall be deemed also to mean a reference to the shares of platform common stock," Fantex states.
Just to be clear.
"Holders of shares of Fantex Series Arian Foster will not have an ownership interest in our Arian Foster Brand, or any of our affiliated entities. Rather, investors in our Fantex Series Arian Foster will be our common stockholders," the company adds.
"What you are investing in is Fantex the brokerage," says Charles Baker, a Corporate and Finance practice partner with DLA Piper's Global Sports, Media and Entertainment Group.