Mon, Oct 20, 2014
A A A
Welcome Guest
Free Trial RSS
Get FREE trial access to our award winning publications
Industry Updates

Laxey finally gives up most of stake in troubled Swissmetal

Thursday, December 29, 2011
Opalesque Industry Update - We heard in July 2011 that British activist hedge fund Laxey Partners Ltd had rejected a financing plan for Swissmetal (see article here). The troubled manufacturer of copper products saw its shares tumble and was then trying to find a white knight. Laxey, which owned 29% of the group this summer, rejected the proposed plan without explaining why.

According to various reports in the Swiss press, it was announced yesterday at SIX Swiss Exchange that the hedge fund had got rid of most of its shares in Swissmetal, which fell by 20% at closing time to the value of CHF1.15. Those shares had apparently lost 80% of their value since the beginning of the year.

The hedge fund, which had already reduced its stake to 24% by December, had been trying to offload it for several months, reported Romandie.com. So when the Swiss-based metallurgic group announced last week that it had received several takeover offers (without supplying any names), the share price thus went up a bit – to CHF1.90 (by CHF0.41), and Laxey took this window of opportunity to divest.

According to Swiss daily Le Temps, the Isle of Man-based fund became a shareholder in 2005 when shares cost between CHF15 and CHF20. It lost tens of millions of Swiss francs from this investment. Laxey also lost from an investment in a Swiss retailer called Charles Vögel in which the fund acquired a 10% stake in 2007 at CHF100 a piece. Another Swiss investment in a construction company called Implenia, however, was more beneficial, due to options which protected against down markets. But Laxey’s best Swiss investment was in Oerlikon Saurer, a textile machinery producer, where the fund took advantage of rumours to make a 40% profit.

Laxey now owns less than 3% of Swissmetal, reports RFJ.ch today. And the new shareholders have not yet been identified, says Le Temps.

The fund had put German-born Martin Hellweg at the head of the Swissmetal this summer (he had already run the group between 2003 and 2009), who may not hang around.
B. Gravrand

What do you think?

   Use "anonymous" as my name    |   Alert me via email on new comments   |   

Banner

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 Roundtable: Where are all the good ESG hedge funds?[more]

    Benedicte Gravrand, Opalesque Geneva: What are the benefits of sustainable investing? Many pension funds look to focus on that angle to reflect their company’s good governance, but face many challenges while doing that. A portfolio manager at Univest, a large Dutch pension fund, discusses this is

  2. Bill Gross gives his first investment outlook for Janus fund[more]

    Bill Gross strikes a gloomy tone in his first note to investors at his new gig at Janus Capital. Bill Gross, the renowned bond fund manger, struck a pessimistic chord in his first note to investors at his new gig at Janus Capital. His notes, usually full of silly commentary and upbeat advice, took a

  3. Investing - Big investors move to shore up Fannie, Freddie trade, Two hedge funds eye $1bn support to Sahara to secure Subrata Roy's release[more]

    Big investors move to shore up Fannie, Freddie trade From Forbes.com: Two of the nation’s most prominent investors who have been leading the charge to make a big score out of the shares of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac moved on Friday to shore up shares of the mortgage giants that plunged r

  4. Opalesque Exclusive: What's next for trend followers?[more]

    Bailey McCann, Opalesque New York: New research out from Ibbotson touches on a key debate happening among investors and fund managers, specifically whether long term trend followers can survive in the new

  5. Swiss insurance investment manager opens office in insurance traders' Mecca; London[more]

    Benedicte Gravrand, Opalesque Geneva: Twelve Capital, a swiss manager focused on insurance related investments, was authorised by the UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as a MiFID investment firm on October 1st and opened its new London office. "In an effort to enhance its investment