There's an interesting item tucked away in A. Schulman Inc.'s recently released proxy statement, dated Nov. 24, that's getting some attention from investing blogs today. It's the news that Schulman this year sold a Canadian fish camp to Terry Haines, the company's former president and CEO, for $55,000. Proxies often make for dry reading, but this one is pretty interesting. Here's the relevant passage:
During fiscal 2008, the Compensation Committee determined that maintaining a lease on a private airplane was no longer a cost-effective method for providing business-related transportation to our Named Executive Officers and Directors. The airplane was used only for business-related travel, and personal use was not permitted. With the termination of the lease on the airplane, it also became increasingly difficult and cost prohibitive to access our Canadian fish camp. Consequently, the fish camp, which was only used for business entertainment purposes, was offered for sale during 2008. The only offer to purchase the fish camp came from Terry L. Haines, our former Chief Executive Officer and President. Ultimately we negotiated with Mr. Haines to sell the fish camp for a purchase price of $55,000 and the transaction closed during fiscal year 2009.I imagine there are some blog readers out there -- big Schulman customers -- who were visitors to the fish camp. Perhaps they can share some photos or information about the camp with the rest of us. Was it worth $55,000? Some of the investing blogs would be very interested in your comments. The Toronto Globe and Mail's Market Blog calls the filing A fishy footnote. Michelle Leder of footnoted.org calls it "Gone fishing -- seriously," adding:
There's so much to poke at here that I almost don't know where to begin: The leased airplane for business purposes only? The fishing camp in Canada? The fact that the airplane was no longer necessary because the fishing camp was sold? The sale of the fishing camp to the former CEO? The bargain basement price? Clearly, this is in the running for footnote of the year.Seekingalpha.com, the Huffington Post and the Yahoo Finance message board also have posts on the fish camp.