Are they right to bail?
Depends where you stand.
If you believe that management can't value investments, then you should bail regardless whether ACAS does or does not issue more shares. If you believe management does not warrant your confidence, invest elsewhere. Since the first quarter of 2009, when ACAS last entered one of these below-NAV issuance transactions, ACAS has done pretty well.
If ACAS wants to repeat that feat, I say let 'em.
Nicolas Marshi's apparent argument that funds raised in the issuance could be paid to lenders makes little immediate sense. Although ACAS' 4Q2009 results are not yet published, ACAS enjoyed $463m in realizations in 3Q2009 and ended that quarter with hundreds of millions in cash: "Unrestricted cash and cash equivalents totaled
If one credits management's competence, one likes to see management gain the freedom to make deals for shares. Meanwhile, there are genuine distress opportunities to be had, and ACAS has a division specializing in distress opportunity. A while back, ACAS was itself one of the distress opportunities. However, its 6.85% unsecured notes due in 2012 have gained value from "up to in the 60s" to $0.97 on the dollar.
I don't think ACAS' transaction is retiring its own debt, unless there's some illiquid debt not priced as quoted above. I suspect distressed opportunities.