Investor Articles

Came across a couple new ones yesterday:

The Texas Pacific Land Trust was created in 1888 as a liquidating trust. The trustees of this trust have but one job: liquidate it in order to pay off the bondholders who created the trust. These bondholders (and their heirs and the persons they have long since sold their rights to) are the real owners of those 7,683 square miles of what was once desert scrubland (until the Permian Basin burst on the scene as the biggest oil and gas-producing region in the country.)

We must not lose sight of this fact, no matter the slings, arrows, brickbats, and mud that is being thrown in the current proxy fight: the trust was designed to liquidate its assets in order to pay off the bondholders who organized the trust. The bondholders created the Trust and converted their bonds to “shares of proprietary interest” in the Trust, making their rights more liquid via these shares. TPL is now the second-oldest “stock” on the NYSE.

I might be displaying my ignorance here but does anyone have a document/reference that proves the above to be a FACT?  The Declaration of Trust isn’t super clear on this subject.

3 thoughts on “Investor Articles

  1. Nate Tobik of Oddball is a fantastic writer on stocks. His bank book is really wonderful too. I suggest you pick up a copy if you want to understand bank investing. He’s also a regular on Corner of Berkshire and Fairfax.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think the author is taking some interpretative liberties with calling it a liquidating trust. In fact, not once in the entire trust document from 1888 is the word “Liquidating” used.

    The basic facts are in agreement, the bondholders got TPL sub certificates (what we call shares) in exchange for their busted bonds when the railroad failed. The trust can use proceeds from minerals, grazing, etc to pay taxes, run the administration of TPL, and pay dividends or retire sub certificates.

    Since we are now in the 131st year of the trust, they clearly are in no hurry to wind up the company. Its always been a unique kind of investment with its low administrative cost, high profits and compounding characteristics. Trustees have realized this, and have acted accordingly.

    The rise of the Permian has changed the math, and also the way TPL does business. And why we now have expensive lawyers arguing over what happens next.

    Here is the trust agreement for anyone wanting to time travel back to 1888.

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.