Henex trades in belgium and is the holding company of the Boel family, who control Sofina. Boels are industrial elites of europe, very much part of the establishment. Henex has no commercial reason for existing, and is mostly an accident of history. With time, it should itself disappear via merger into another Boel controlled entity, or via distributions of the underlying holdings. There is no pressure for the Boels to do anything, except that their Chm and head of family is over 80.
Henex has 14.5m shares outstanding, 1.2 of which are owned by HENX itself and the rest mostly in the hands of insiders. Current EUR price is 38, so a 548m eur mkt cap and trades about 2,000 shares per day. There is no debt. The two big holdings are Sofina (SOF BB, 5.2m shrs owned) and Danone (BN FP, 5.2m shrs owned), which at current eur market prices equate to 541m EUR. Sofina is itself a holding company, worthy of a VIC writeup bec it also trades at a big discount to NAV (64 current price vs my calculation of NAV of 87/shr), and consists mostly of publicly traded companies like Eurazeo, Colruyt, Luxempart, etc.). Substituting 87/shr for 64, and Henex's stake is worth 120m eur more. So to recap: HENX shres, Danone, and Sofina are worth 40/shr or 49/shr, depending on how one values Sofina, versus HENX price of 38.
There's more, 65m EUR of publicly traded investments and 124m Eur of private holdings. The public holdings are: 730k shrs of GDF Suez, 375k shrs of Suez Environment, 1.5m shares of SES, 250k shares of Heineken, 177k shares of Fortis, 200k shares of Delhaize. The private investments are worth EUR 124m book value, and consist of real estate, investments in venture capital and investment funds, private family businesses, etc. No liabilities associated with these investments, hidden or otherwise: in other words you can choose to value them at 0, but not negative. These additional public holdings are worth 4eur/HENX shr, and the privates 9eur/HENX shr at book.
This should allow VIC investors to calculate the discount to NAV according to personal preference -- the range is anywhere from 2eur/shr (hyper-conservative) to 24eur/shr, and perhaps greater. Basically, a pretty safe place to park cash outside of the USD, with a modest yield paid annually of about 2%, and a margin of safety via the discount to NAV.
death of Henex Chairman sometime in the next 20 years