Mon, Nov 30, 2015
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. Other Voices: Hedge fund marketing and the selling cycle[more]

    By Bruce Frumerman. How long is the selling cycle now? That’s a question my financial communications and sales marketing consulting firm has been asked on a regular basis by hedge fund firm owners and sales people, ever since we opened the doors to our firm in 1987 pre-crash. Wa

  2. People - Solus Alternative Asset Management adds chief strategist from BTIG[more]

    From Daniel Greenhaus joined hedge fund manager Solus Alternative Asset Management as managing director and chief strategist. He will work closely with Chris Bondy, Solus’ chief economist, managing director and executive vice president, said Chris Pucillo, CEO and chief investmen

  3. Opalesque Roundtable: Seeding deal terms can be onerous for hedge funds[more]

    Benedicte Gravrand, Opalesque Geneva for New Managers: Executives from fund of funds firms, family offices, a placement agent, a private equity firm, and an accounting firm gathered in Connecticut last month for the

  4. Opalesque Roundtable: Family offices flock to co-investment[more]

    Bailey McCann, Opalesque New York: Co-investments have been a hot topic for pension funds in recent years, as they try to move away from high fees and improve transparency. But now, family offices are more readily getting into the mix and establishing in-house deal teams, according to the delega

  5. More institutional investors invest in CTAs compared to last year despite dissatisfaction with performance[more]

    Benedicte Gravrand, Opalesque Geneva: "Despite a strong start to 2015 for CTAs in Q1, commodity market conditions have made return generation difficult for fund managers over much of the rest of the year to date," says Preqin’s November