Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures

The Newhall Land and Farming Company

Stock Certificate

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Stock certificate: The Newhall Land and Farming Company, a Delaware corporation, for 100 shares, issued December 18, 1978, to Merill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc. Assigned July 5, 1979, to Spume & Co. of Boston.

Back (see below) bears the stamp of Merrill Lynch vice president Donald T. Regan, who would become U.S. Treasury Secretary in the Reagan administration from 1981-1985 and President Reagan's chief of staff from 1985-1987.

Corporate History of Newhall Land.

The Newhall Land and Farming Company, known as "Newhall Land," was initially incorporated in California on June 1, 1883 — a little over a year after the death of town founder Henry Mayo Newhall — by Newhall's widow and five sons. A vignette of the patriarch appeared on its early stock certificates. It was a closely held, family-owned corporation for 86 years, until 1969 when it went public.

The board of directors, which then included heirs of Henry M. Newhall and a few people who had married into the family, voted December 3, 1968, to take the company public [Ruth Newhall 1992:238] — i.e., seek outside investors in exchange for a share of the profits. The brokerage firm of Dean Witter & Co. handled the initial public offering and placed 768,212 shares, or just under 8 percent of the total 10 million shares outstanding.

Shares opened at $31 in over-the-counter trading on May 8, 1969, and closed the day at $43 for a $12-per-share profit to the company [The Signal, May 12, 1969]. Within a week, shares were trading at $51 [The Signal, May 16, 1969]. By October 1970, the company met the requirements for listing on the New York Stock Exchange, which included at least 20 percent of it shares in public ownership [The Signal, October 12, 1970]. On October 26, 1970, Newhall Land traded on the NYSE for the first time under the ticker symbol NHL.

Home sales had been brisk when Valencia's first residential community opened in 1967, but then the market slowed. In the mid-1970s Newhall Land reorganized. It absorbed the White Investment Company, which had been Henry Newhall's widow's holding company and represented her successors' shares in Newhall Land. It dissolved the White Investment subsidiary California Land Co. — which was the real developer of Valencia — and formed its own development subsidiary, the Valencia Corporation [Ruth Newhall 1992:265-267]. The reorganized Newhall Land reincorporated April 20, 1976, under the law of the state of Delaware [Delaware Division of Corporations records].

In 1983, Newhall Land spun off its oil and gas ventures (in California and elswhere) and its commercial properties (in Valencia) into separate general partnerships that traded on the New York Stock Exchange: Newhall Resources for the oil and gas, and Newhall Investment Properties for the commercial property (golf courses, apartment complexes, shopping centers, Travel Village, etc.).

Newhall Land again reorganized in 1984-1985. Its board incorporated the Newhall Management Corporation on July 26, 1984 [California Secretary of State records] to manage the new Newhall Land and Farming Company, whose shareholders approved a plan October 17, 1984, to convert the company to a limited partnership effective January 8, 1985 [The Signal, January 27, 1985]. It was one of the few limited partnership to trade on the NYSE. There were tax implications for current shareholders, but the company made them whole, and the real-estate market was booming, so it all worked out.

The 1980s and 1990s were spent fighting off hostile takeovers, including a few fights in court. After getting the big, 20,000-plus-unit Valencia expansion initially known as "Newhall Ranch" approved by the county Board of Supervisors on May 27, 2003, vastly increasing the company's value, the board and shareholders finally threw in the towel and reaped the profits. On January 27, 2004, Newhall Land was acquired by a 50-50 joint venture of Florida-based Lennar Corp. and a spinoff, LNR Property Corp., and Newhall Land ceased to exist as an independent corporate entity for the first time in 121 years. The next decade saw more buyouts and a bankruptcy reorganization as hedge-fund managers grew impatient with construction delays caused by protracted environmental litigation and an intervening economic recession.

Actually, as of 2020, the "Newhall Land and Farming Company" name lives on — as a (Delaware) corporation, a (California) general partnership and a (Delaware) limited liability company, and they're managed by people in Valencia. They're just not wholly independent entities. They're subsidiaries of Five Point Holdings LLC (NYSE:FPH), a real estate development company incorporated in Delaware and based in Irvine, California, that began physical construction of the Valencia expansion in the late 2010s and announced the sale of the first 781 lots on January 13, 2020.

— Leon Worden 2020


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LW3702: 9600 dpi jpeg from original stock certificate purchased 2020 by Leon Worden. Large document file.
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