New Jersey high school battling coach is CEO of $100 million firm

He’s a legend in New Jersey high school wrestling– and a mystery in the stock market.

Paul Morina, the principal of Paulsboro, New Jersey, High School, is listed in financial records as the president, CEO, CFO and more at a Nevada-incorporated business whose stock is trading at levels that offer it a valuation more than $100 million.

That’s a strangely high assessment due to the fact that the business, Home town International, owns a delicatessen– and just one small delicatessen– in Paulsboro, where the Morina-coached high school wrestling group often wins state champions. The company has divulged that it has actually investors based in China’s Macau territory.

The store, the Home town Deli, did simply $35,000 in sales– combined– over the past 2 years, according to Home town International’s annual report, submitted March 26 with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Hedge fund manager David Einhorn mentioned Hometown International in a letter to clients Thursday, which cautioned about the threats to retail investors.

” The pastrami should be incredible,” Einhorn split of the company, whose stock from late March 2020 to early September increased to more than $9 per share from $3.25 per share regardless of the deli– its only operating organization– being closed due to the coronavirus pandemic during that time frame.

Hometown International’s annual report shows that Morina, who is also the business’s treasurer and a director, has 1.5 million shares of typical shares in the company, with warrants for another 30 million shares. Morina owns 19% of Hometown’s exceptional 7.79 million common shares.

On Thursday, Hometown’s stock, which trades very finely on the over the counter market, had a closing cost of $13.50 per share.

That makes Morina’s typical stock holdings alone worth $20.5 million– on paper, at least.

FactSet data shows that Hometown seldom has more than a couple of hundred shares change hands daily, and often has days when no shares are exchanged.

CNBC has connected for remark to Morina, whose bio in the SEC filing states he has actually won 25 class state champions as a coach, with more than 550 triumphes.

That bio does not say that Morina had previous experience in the food service market.

Nevertheless, Home town International said in its filing, “Our company believe that Mr. Morina’s in-depth knowledge and comprehensive experience makes him an important member of our board of directors.”

The filing states that Hometown International, which was incorporated in 2014, entered into a lease with Mantua Creek Group, of which Morina is a member, for its store space.

Home town’s vice president and secretary is Christine Lindenmuth– a 46-year-old mathematics teacher at Paulsboro High School, according to the SEC filing.

Lindenmuth, who did not immediately react to ask for remark, also does not appear to have any previous experience in food service.

But Hometown International said it believes her “thorough understanding and extensive experience” likewise make her a valued company director.

Lindenmuth holds no shares in the business, according to the SEC filing.

The yearly report says, “The Business currently has no full-time staff members apart from its officers and directors, Paul F. Morina, President, and Christine T. Lindenmuth.” It adds: “Both are presently working for the Business with no settlement.”

Home town’s annual report suggests that the business was formed with the concept of creating a chain of shops with “a brand-new Delicatessen concept.”

” Through our wholly-owned subsidiary, Your Home town Deli Limited Liability Company (‘ Your Home Town Deli’), we operate a delicatessen store that includes ‘home-style’ sandwiches and other entrees in a casual and friendly atmosphere,” the filing states.

” The shop is developed to provide local patrons of any ages with a comfy neighborhood gathering places. Targeted towards smaller towns and communities, the Business’s very first unit was integrated in Paulsboro, New Jersey.”

However that location, a low-slung, blocky structure located simply throughout the Delaware River from Philadelphia, stays the only store the company owns after about seven years in service.

The business’s chairman, according to the annual report, is Peter Coker Jr., who is noted as holding no Home town International shares.

Coker’s bio in the company’s annual report says the 1990 graduate of Lehigh University has actually been chairman of South Shore Holdings Limited, a Hong Kong-listed business, since 2013.

It also says that Coker was the handling partner of Pacific Advisers, and was likewise a partner in a Shenzhen, China-based private equity company called TDR Capital expense Ltd. from 2009 to 2013.

” From 2006 to 2009, Mr. Coker functioned as Chairman of Global Trading Offshore Pte (Singapore),” the filing says. “From 2002 to 2005, Mr. Coker functioned as the Chairman of Wellington Securities (New Zealand). Mr. Coker worked as an officer of the Bridge Business prior to signing up with Wellington Securities (New Zealand) in 2002.”

Coker’s daddy, North Carolina resident Peter Coker Sr., is listed on the SEC filing as owning 63,334 shares of common stock in Hometown International, with warrants for 1.26 million more shares.

CNBC has connected for comment from both Cokers.

Other owners of Home town shares include Blackwell Partners LLC, Series A, which has an address in Hong Kong; and 2 other Hong Kong entities, Star V Partners LLC, and Maso Capital Investments Limited.

Four other companies or entities noted as Hometown International share owners are based in Macau, China.

Among the Macau business, VCH Limited, in Might 2020 entered into a consulting contract with Hometown International, the filing stated.

” Pursuant to this agreement, VCH was engaged as a specialist to the Business, to, to name a few things, produce and develop a presence with high net worth and institutional financiers,” Home town said in its annual report.

” The term of the arrangement is one year; supplied, however, that each party deserves to terminate the agreement upon thirty days’ prior composed notification to the other,” the report stated.

” Pursuant to the arrangement, VCH shall receive $25,000 monthly throughout the term of the arrangement, in addition to repayment of expenses authorized ahead of time by the Company.”

Hometown International booked a $624,438 loss for 2020, and a $153,930 loss for 2019, according to the company’s yearly report.

Much of the business’s boosts in costs in 2020 originated from $320,000 in what it called “seeking advice from costs.”

The elder Coker has been recognized in other SEC-filed documents as is the founder and handling director of Tryon Capital Ventures, a North Carolina entity that has a consulting arrangement with Hometown that pays Tryon $15,000 monthly.

“We prepare for extending the regard to the Consulting Agreement with Tryon for an additional 1 year term,” the yearly report says.

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