Podcast Ep 2 – $XSPA

What’s going’ on, welcome back to the Benji Taught show where here I am your host and this is a place I hope to teach you a thing or two. So, without further ado, let’s roll

Alright, Saturday Stock Talk, So, this is going to be a pretty quick one this week. As of right now I’m only invested into two companies. I know… I know how that sounds, and to be honest I would preach diversification as much as possible, I think that would be best.

The two companies I’m currently invested into are, Ag Eagle Aerial Systems who I did my first podcast on, and XpresSpa which you’re going to hear all about in just a moment. So, $XSPA and $UAVS that’s it right now. Wild, right?

Before we get into the good stuff I want to take a moment to Manifest some positivity into your day. Let me just remind you that you control your reality, and who you want to become whoever that may be, is right at the tip of your fingers. There’s tons of shit I want to do, places I want to go, things I want to achieve, and every time I just put in a little effort, strain myself a little more; I get a lot farther than I initially anticipated. So, with that being said just give it a shot. Do whatever it is you’ve been thinking about doing. It’ll be alright, and just know that’s how we grow.

Now, let’s talk XpresSpa. If you follow my Instagram you probably see a lot of $XSPA talk.

So, let’s break it down.

XpresSpa was created in 2006 and operates in the Personal Services Industry under the Consumer Clinical Sector, to be specific. Since then they’ve become a once thriving international luxury spa franchise in 51 different locations amongst 25 airports internationally.  I know you’re wondering why I’m talking about a spa company during a pandemic, right? They’re actually shifting their focus toward COVID-19 relief & this is why they have my attention. I know some people want to travel, I know I want to travel myself. 

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This part might get slightly confusing but it builds credibility in my eyes, although, there’s missing pieces I will make apparent. XpresSpa had been purchased by FORM HOLDINGS CORP. This was a diversified holding company that acquired XpresSpa 100%, the leading luxury airport spa, in Dec. of 2016. FORM identifies, invests, and develops other companies that have superior growth potential. 

I could not find FORM’s creation date anywhere and this is one of those missing pieces that could really create some more credibility for me knowing the true origin. January of 2018 FORM officially changes their name to XpresSpa with the SEC creating ticker symbol $XSPA. Now, the company has directed its vision toward health and wellness.

Now that you’re up to speed with XSPA’s origin, let’s talk about everything I dug up as of recent. I noticed there was a change in leadership in 2019, Doug Satzman. He took CEO position as of February 2019. Doug has 20+ years in billion business growth, working with both small and large corporations. Having blue chip multi-channel retail experience with companies such as Starbucks, Doug seems to be the guy for the chair if we’re talking scalability. 

To my understanding the previous two CEOs of XpresSpa, Ed Jankowski & Andrew Pearlman, had left due to other commitments/pursuits and still offer council as needed. I can only believe this is to be true to an extent obviously, so I reached out to Ed to look for more reason, I just thought the same vague reasoning for their leaving wasn’t acceptable. But, I just wanted to check and see if there may have been an underlying reason for his leave. Yeah, he could have signed an NDA or something of the sort in any case, it can’t hurt to ask. I reached out to Ed and he got back to me promptly. I mean right away, I felt special for this. He mentioned to me that he is semi-retired with the company, and that implied he still offers council if necessary in my eyes.

After becoming comfortable with their background, I peeked at their board of directors. Bruce Berstein, President of Rockmore Capital, LLC stuck out to me. In 2018, I saw an article showing his ex-wife outed him for lying to investors about his commitment in investing money with $XSPA. He claimed to invest $6M into $XSPA however only invested $4.9 as he was not financially able to perform the other portion from what I believe was from the divorce. He was pursued for fraud however the articles as well as his name are sealed under the SEC to never disclose said fraud. 

I’ll be including some of the court documents on the fraud lawsuit if you want to take a look at them. This isn’t something I spent too much time on.

The SEC can only pursue this guy civilly so I would think Its a pretty quiet hearing if you know what I mean. I don’t know how I feel about that long term. This is a guy at the top of the BOD, this was also two years ago and I understand that divorce can be difficult. But this could still be another pump and dump.

Let’s talk 2020. As recent as March XSPA started talks of converting spas into XpresChek screening sites in 46 locations among 23 airports. Half a month later they pull the trigger and say it’s a good idea. May, they acquire $5.6M in government assistance, the only account I saw they accepted government assistance during this pandemic. Even though the gov advised they shouldn’t take it.

That same month an agreement is signed with JFK Airport to have the first COVID-19 test location set up, June it opened for employees. As of August, another facility has opened in the Newark Liberty Airport. 

Here’s where my heads at, 

I am trying to get out asap, but at the right time. I’m prepared to stay in for another 1 to 2 months, until that next big spike. After reading through articles both for and against, it made me feel indifferent. I know I’m all over the place, and this may be a lot to take in. XpresSpa is converting their spas into XpesChek locations. In essence becoming the next airport nurse.

There is expressed concern with how long it will take for flight travel to return to the rates that they once were, speculators state air travel is down 80+%. I also found out that compared to July of this year flight travel has increased by 55% at 110,000 daily passengers from 32,000. I think if the opportunity to travel nationally becomes more accessible for others this would create even more demand and stimulation. Some airlines are dropping 30% of their executive staff in order to accommodate for cost savings i.e. cheaper flights.

XpresChek can provide efficient testing prior to flights. Even if a COVID vaccination is created they would be carrying it for those that haven’t received it yet. Not everyone is going to get this vaccine, I know that’s a fact. If they chose to be vaccinated they can do so prior to their flight, and be checked in 15 minutes…The protocols that are already in place don’t produce results for up to 48 hours.

In other words, this is an efficient option IMO. This is innovation.

This company has already associated with 60 large and medium airports about implementing XpresChek. So far, they have converted 2 locations that are now up and running within 4 months of initial talks. I’m hoping they start converting more spas into Chek locations a little faster so we can see if this is going to be something that sticks.

The last piece I’d like to cover is the recent $35.3M RDO that occurred on August 26th of this year. I used to think that offerings were bad, I was less educated at the time to be truthful. They aren’t all bad and in this case, I think we’re going to be alright. H.C. Wainwright & Co is acting as the exclusive placement agent for this offering. This means that they will be the ones buying the shares at an exercise price of $3.02/share. That’s around 50 cents higher than where we’re currently trading at, wow. 

It will be immediately exercisable expiring in 24 months.

Now Here’s a little background on the company that’s investing into XSPA. H.C. was founded in 1868 and have since funded business growth and banking. These guys have literally funded both sides of the civil war at one point. They were Labeled #1 investment bank by PlacementTracker for the last 2 years, investing $3.1B in the first quarter of 2020 alone.

So who’s Placement Tracker? Well, this is just a part of a Business Intelligence Division at Informa PLC. Informa is an International Data Analysis Co that can help businesses in all markets. They were created in 1998 and is well recognized as the leading provider in research, data, and analytics covering the PIPE & private placement markets. They’re credible enough to me.

I noticed that of the other companies H.C. had invested into ranged around $1M-$100M, so this is right in the middle and I see that as a good sign.

I know that was a lot to take in, but H.C., the company that’s investing $35+M, has been around for quite awhile now. They mainly invest other people’s money for them as well as allowing others to invest through them.

I’d like to entertain a bit of some conspiracy I kind of cooked up, you saw how KODAK jumped from what I think would have been some manipulation, well I have a feeling this could be another one of those stocks. Just because we’ve had some shady moving in the past and potential government ties.

Super vague I know but I just have a feeling this is not going to be a stock I am interested in the LONG term.

With the indifference in speculation going on and my time being invested in this stock, I feel there will be another jump repeating history along with the steady decline it’s seen over the years. That’s where I’ll be pulling out of this stock. Some say this will be the next KODAK stunt, and some say this company is becoming the next airport nurse internationally.

All in all I think XSPA could be opening screening locations a bit faster, I’m only looking out about a month or two in this stock, I’m also hoping some travel restrictions let up and we can focus on things like tourism nationally. Then this would allow XpresChek to achieve some momentum.

Let me also just mention if you’ve seen the photos of XpresSpa and XpresChek being combined… like this half nurse half spa building, it’s not real as of now. & I sure hope they don’t put them together. I would find it hard to relax while a group of people across the room are potentially contagious.

But, the good news is they basically have 2 XpresSpas per airport that they’re in. Which means they can still have a spa and a nurse within the same airport. That sounds a little better to me!

I know I gave you some good info and some other info that could turn you away from this stock, but this is just what I’ve found so far. Much more to come for this company, but I can confidently say that I am just looking to double-up take my profits and invest elsewhere.

Shout Out Season is here and I have a special thank you to give to my brother from another mother, Sean Flores. This is my mf dude right here. He created my first piece of art I’ve ever purchased, and it’ll be my #1 until it disintegrates.

My cousin just scooped a piece from him this week too, so much love thanks for taking care of him I really appreciate you bro. Sean creates crazy visuals of old time comics mixed with graffiti vibes and basically anything you desire. In my case, it happened to be all the designers I love. It’s sick, if you want to check that out there’s a vid on my YouTube.

@SeanFlores if you’re looking for some dope art, hit my dude up on Instagram to check out his work.

As we come to an end to Podcast number 2, I want to thank everyone who tuned in to listen today. If you want to check out anymore of my videos, you can do so on my website BenjiTaught.com, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook you name it, Benji Taught is where you can find me.

Again, thank you so much, peace



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