Afinsa & Escala - Rollicking Good Stuff
There's been a development this week in a financial scandal" that unfolded earlier this year in the world collectibles market, relating to the implosion of a Spanish collectibles dealer (Afinsa), and the subsequent problems experienced by related companies (Escala). I first came across Escala early in 2006 when researching business strategies in the world numismatic markets - Escala is one of 8 publicly listed companies that have a connection to numismatics.
Escala's corporate structure was Byzantine, their business plan so brilliant it was Enronesque and I made a mental note to stay well away from their business model (and their stock!). Lo and behold Afinsa went into receivership in the first half of this year, brought about by a scandal involving hundreds of thousands of European pensioners and 5 billion euro in assets. (Google either Afinsa or Escala to come right up to speed on this, it is just incredible reading).
Escala's stock rose some 90% overnight (this is still 69% less than what it was before the bad news unfolded in May), which seems just incredible when you think their CEO just resigned and their major client was put into receivership some 7 months ago. It'll be interesting to see how long this all lasts!