The interim chief executive officer of alternative lender Callidus Capital Corp. has resigned without explanation, less than five months after signing on and weeks before the company is due to report year-end results.
Callidus, the publicly traded lender that is controlled by Newton Glassman’s Catalyst Capital Group Inc., said in a two-sentence statement that Patrick Dalton had resigned from his consulting role and as interim CEO, and that the rest of the management team would assume his duties. The company gave no reasons. Mr. Dalton had replaced Mr. Glassman, who took a medical leave last year.
Mr. Dalton’s departure comes at a pressing time for Callidus, which is a lender to distressed companies. In December, its second-largest shareholder floated a proposal to buy out minority shareholders at $2 a share, a fraction of the estimated valuation that Mr. Glassman talked about when he began to discuss a privatization of the company in 2016. Callidus shares, which were sold for $14 in the initial public offering in 2014, closed on Monday at $1.71.
The low valuation affects not only the company’s public shareholders but also investors in Catalyst’s private funds, which hold a majority of Callidus shares.
Callidus has reported a string of losses as its borrowers – companies in diverse industries such as energy, garbage-bin manufacturing and casino-game development – have struggled. Callidus has formally taken control of a number of these companies, which means it has to consolidate their financial results on its own books. Partly as a result, Callidus has lost money for eight consecutive quarters, losing a total of $345-million in that time.
Mr. Dalton was appointed in late October, after Mr. Glassman decided to step back from his duties at Callidus to have back surgery, then a lengthy recovery. Mr. Glassman said at the time that he would remain Callidus’s chairman and was keeping his leadership positions at Catalyst, a private-equity firm that controls about 72 per cent of Callidus and guarantees some of its debt.
Dan Gagnier, a spokesman for Callidus and Mr. Glassman, said he could not provide any more details behind the departure or a timeline for Mr. Glassman to return as CEO. Mr. Dalton also did not respond to inquiries from The Globe.
Mr. Dalton has been described as an expert in alternative credit who spent 25 years with U.S. private credit funds and investment bank Goldman Sachs Group Inc. When he arrived at Callidus, the company owed $41-million to creditors under a senior secured loan. The loan was scheduled to be paid back in 2017, but was extended twice, and is due at the end of March.
A source familiar with Callidus’s finances said the loan came from insurer Sun Life Financial Inc. A spokeswoman for Sun Life said the insurer had not insisted on Mr. Dalton being hired. “While the terms of our loans vary with each client, in this instance, we were not involved in the hiring process,” Sun Life’s Connie Soave said in an e-mail.
In January, Callidus announced that a company it controls, C&C Resources Inc., sold a division for $100-million in cash. C&C is a forest products company. In a news release, the company said: “Callidus will use approximately $55-million of the cash received from the sale to repay indebtedness.” Mr. Gagnier said the debt and Mr. Dalton’s departure were not related.
In December, Callidus received a proposal from Bahamas-based Braslyn Ltd., a firm controlled by British billionaire Joe Lewis, to take the minority public shareholding private for $2 a share. Braslyn, which has 14.5 per cent of Callidus’s shares, has yet to make a formal offer. Still, the amount is well below the target price of $18 to $22 a share, based on a National Bank Financial valuation, that Mr. Glassman had set for a privatization deal more than two years ago.
Callidus is expected to report its fourth-quarter and year-end financials by early April.