New Jersey deli owner Hometown International plans merger with Makamer

Your hometown deli in Paulsboro, New Jersey

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Hometown International — that bizarre public company with a market capitalization of over $100 million despite owning just one small New Jersey grocery store — has announced plans to merge with Maccamerprivate start-up firm for the production of bioplastics.

The loss-making Your Hometown Deli in Paulsboro, New Jersey, owned by Hometown International, will not be operated by the merger with Los Angeles-based Makamer. It is not yet clear if the deli will close or continue selling sandwiches, soda, chips and other items.

The announcement of the Makamer-Hometown International merger comes nearly a year after hedge fund manager David Einhorn, in a letter to a client, noted a bizarre mismatch between the deli’s extremely modest $25,004 sales for all of 2021 and Hometown’s sky-high sales. stock market valuation.

“Pastrami must be amazing,” Einhorn joked in the most quoted line of the April 2021 email.

Following this letter, CNBC detailed the confusing business relationships and controversial history of a number of people associated with Hometown International, whose CEO at the time was Paul Morina, a high school principal and head wrestling coach at Paulsborough.

Morina is still listed as the owner of 31.5 million shares of Hometown International.

In its annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 18, Hometown International said that “the company has identified a potential target company and is currently in discussions about a possible business combination.”

Macamer CEO talks to CNBC

Alex Mond, head of Makamer, said in an interview with CNBC on Friday that he expects the completion of the merger with Hometown International, which was disclosed in an SEC filing ahead of April Fool’s Day, “in a few weeks.”

Following this, Mond said he plans to move what will become the bioplastics company’s new trademark to the Nasdaq from over-the-counter markets shortly thereafter.

Mond said Los Angeles-based Makamer sees Hometown as an attractive merger candidate even after headlines about the deli owner due to its status as a public company.

“We have investors who pushed us to go public,” he said.

Mond said going public would make it easier for Makamer to raise much-needed cash to grow its business, which was launched more than three years ago, by issuing debt.

Mond said Maccamer is in talks with “major companies interested in selling our product,” which is designed to replace petroleum-based plastics and reduce plastic pollution in the world’s oceans and land.

“We are awaiting purchase orders,” Mond said.

“We use 45 different blends, mostly hemp,” Mond said of the firm’s bioplastics.

“Hemp is the best replacement” for plastic, he said, noting that “it uses the least amount of energy, is easy to grow, is renewable and “also cleans the soil” of pollutants.

Share price hit $14 per share

The SEC document announcing the proposed merger, which was completed by Hometown International under the new name Makamer Holdings, does not disclose how Hometown International and Makamer are valued as a result of the merger, or how Hometown International’s 60 or so shareholders will be dealt with. in a deal.

HWIN, the current symbol of Hometown International, trades very little, if at all, on OTC Markets’ pink platform, an OTC listing service.

OTC markets in April 2021 removed HWIN from their OTCQB platform, moved shares to the less prestigious Pink market, and issued a “buyer beware” warning to a deli owner “for not following the rules” of OTC markets.

As of Friday, Hometown International’s share price was $14 per share, giving it a market capitalization of $109.2 million based on outstanding shares alone.

The last recorded share trades were for 100 shares on March 8th. Prior to this, the last registered share transactions for the same number of shares were on 31 December.

“More information coming soon”

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Management concerns

Mond said in an interview that he and his current management at Makamer would be in charge of the combined company, despite the initial desire of people currently associated with Hometown to take on leadership roles with the company when merger discussions began last year.

“They didn’t agree to it, but that was our condition,” Mond said. “That was all my management, or I won’t accept the deal.”

Mond said he was aware of the legal and regulatory controversy surrounding the people involved in Hometown before he was approached by two “Wall Street guys” he knew and offered to discuss the merger.

“I was troubled” by these contradictions, Mond said. “That’s why I made sure our leadership was taking over and not the old leadership.”

Mond said that during the merger talks, he only spoke “very briefly” with Cocker, Jr., president of Hometown International.

“Maybe three or four minutes,” Mond said, referring to the length of his phone calls with Cocker Jr.

Mond said his main negotiating contact was lawyers for Hometown International, as well as “also James Patten.”

CNBC reported last year that Patten was at the time working as a financial analyst at Tryon Capital Ventures, a North Carolina-based investment firm owned by Cocker Jr.’s father, Peter Cocker Sr.

Patten also wrestled in high school with Morina, a major shareholder of Hometown International and its former CEO. His LinkedIn profile lists him as the manager of the Mantua Creek Group, a partnership Morina is a member of that leases space to Paulsboro deli.

According to the regulator’s database, FINRA, the broker-dealer regulator, is banning Patten from acting as a stockbroker or doing business with broker-dealers.

He has previously been subject to multiple disciplinary action by FINRA, including non-compliance with an arbitration award in excess of $753,000 for violations of securities laws, unauthorized trading, and client account churning.

Cocker Jr.’s father, Peter Cocker Sr., is listed as the owner of 1.3 million shares of Hometown International. Cocker Sr. and his business partner at Tryon Capital, Peter Reichard, control another company, Europa Capital Investments, which is said to own nearly 2 million shares of the deli owner.

Cocker Sr. has previously been sued for allegedly hiding money from creditors as well as alleged business-related fraud. He denied wrongdoing in those cases, one of which was settled out of court in recent years in North Carolina.

Photograph by Peter Lee Cocker of the Raleigh/Wake City County Bureau of Identification (CCBI).

Source: Raleigh/Wake County Bureau of Identification.

In August 1992, the then 49-year-old Cocker Sr. was arrested in Allentown, Pennsylvania and charged “with prostitution and other offenses after allegedly exposing himself” in front of three underage girls while driving around Central School. It is reported by Morning Call. The records detailing the outcome of this case are not publicly available.

Cocker Sr. was arrested in North Carolina in 2010 on charges of soliciting a prostitute.

Reichard filed a guilty plea in 2011 in a criminal case that resulted in his conviction for the scheme. illegally donate thousands of dollars to the successful 2008 campaign for North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue, a Democrat.

The scheme involved using a fictitious consulting contract between Tryon Capital Ventures and a fast food franchisee who wanted to back Perdue. Cocker Sr. was not charged in this case.

CNBC reported last year that Tryon Capital receives thousands of dollars a month in consulting fees from both Hometown International and sister shell company E-Waste. Both of these companies terminated their consultancy contracts immediately following this announcement.

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