Sat, Jan 31, 2015
A A A
Welcome Guest
Free Trial RSS
Get FREE trial access to our award winning publications
Industry Updates

British activist hedge fund Laxey rejects financing plan for Swissmetal

Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Opalesque Industry Update - Swissmetal is in trouble. It recorded its third negative year in 2010; it is seriously considering mass layoffs; several managerial heads have rolled already; and one of the factories is planned to be dismantled.Reuters said on Friday that shares in the group, which focuses on specialty products made of copper and copper alloys, had tumbled 26.3% - to CHF2.80, losing half of its value in five days.

The company is trying to find a rescuer: company chairman Martin Hellweg said Swissmetal would need a “white knight” investor, reported World Radio Switzerland.

British activist hedge fund Laxey Partners owns nearly a third of the group, that is, 29%.

According to Swiss daily paper Le Temps, negotiations held on July 1st between investors and Laxey led to nowhere. Laxey, who had presented three candidates for the General Meeting, refuted a proposed financing plan - and refused to explain to Le Temps why it had done so, just when it risks losing up to 80% of its investment in the metal group.

Martin Hellweg commented that Swissmetal’s difficulties spring from the banks who are keeping hold of the company’s stocks. The Swiss government has no intention of getting involved, due to lack of “clarity.” And investors are generally sceptical with regards to its chances of survival. So Laxey might simply be cutting its losses for now.


Furthermore, Laxey Partners was recently in the news for making a second attempt in as many years to oust four directors of Singapore-listed United International Securities (UIS) – as it owns 10% of the firm. It also asked directors to explain why UIS' share price was well below the net asset value of the shares, reported the Straits Times. Also, the UK’s £3.2bn Alliance Trust recently won a battle with Laxey, who wanted to force changes.

Laxey Partners, which is registered in the Isle of Man and has offices in London, has been established 13 years and earned a reputation as a feared corporate raider through agitating at companies such as Wyevale Garden Centres and British Land to raise their share prices, said CityAm, who shortlisted the it as one of the alternative managers of the year.

B. Gravrand

What do you think?

   Use "anonymous" as my name    |   Alert me via email on new comments   |   
Today's Exclusives Today's Other Voices More Exclusives
Previous Opalesque Exclusives                                  
More Other Voices
Previous Other Voices                                               
Access Alternative Market Briefing


  • Top Forwarded
  • Top Tracked
  • Top Searched
  1. Opalesque Exclusive: Ex-Citi trader launches 'sleep-at-night’ long/short equity fund[more]

    Benedicte Gravrand, Opalesque Geneva for New Managers: After working at Citi's proprietary trading desk, managing a large portfolio between 2008 and 2011, Joel S. Salomon founded SalaurMor Management in New Yor

  2. Investing - U.S. investors favor currency hedged Europe ETFs as euro tumbles, Quants win back investors as Swiss franc fuels volatility gains, David Einhorn's $7bn hedge fund is loading up on this stock, Hedge fund BlueMountain Capital unveils Ocwen Financial short, claims default on notes[more]

    U.S. investors favor currency hedged Europe ETFs as euro tumbles From Reuters.com: U.S. investors stung by the falling euro who want to stay invested in Europe are turning to exchange-traded funds designed to strip out the impact of the region's currency. The biggest among so-called "cur

  3. News Briefs - Millennials use tech tools to jump into investing, Winklevoss twins to launch bitcoin exchange with FDIC insured deposits, Robertson’s legacy from hedge funds to New Zealand, Real estate managers exploring smaller open-end funds[more]

    Millennials use tech tools to jump into investing It is the Facebookification of monetary investing. From social networking platforms that enable young investors to stick to every other's stock-picking mojo, to internet sites for initially-timers hungry for a piece of the Silicon Valley

  4. Update: Prosecutors seek 12 years for hedge fund manager Francisco Illarramendi[more]

    Komfie Manalo, Opalesque Asia: Federal prosecutors have asked the court to sentence convicted hedge fund manager Francisco Illarramendi to 12 years imprisonment for running an elaborate Ponzi scheme that bilked investors hundreds of millions in dollars, including a Venezuelan pension fund, report

  5. Institutions - Ontario pension fund leader calls all asset classes ‘expensive’, Taiwan's BLF plans $2bn in alternative mandates[more]

    Ontario pension fund leader calls all asset classes ‘expensive’ From WSJ.com: The head of one of the world’s largest pension funds said that across asset classes, “everything is expensive.” Ron Mock, who leads Canada’s $141 billion Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, said that the plan would