Sun, Oct 4, 2015
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 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 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   |   
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. Performance - Hedge fund moguls Einhorn, Loeb, Rosenstein lose money in September, Risky strategy sinks small hedge fund[more]

    Hedge fund moguls Einhorn, Loeb, Rosenstein lose money in September From Billionaire stock pickers David Einhorn, Daniel Loeb and Barry Rosenstein on Wednesday told their wealthy investors they lost money in September as market turmoil inflicted more pain on some of America'

  2. Opalesque Exclusive: IRAs represent billions of untapped capital for hedge funds[more]

    Benedicte Gravrand, Opalesque Geneva: Retirement accounts might not be the first source that comes to mind for those looking to raise funds, but they may represent billions of untapped capital. Unlike traditional retirement accounts,

  3. Opalesque TV: One way to access market hedge funds in the EU under the AIFMD radar[more]

    Benedicte Gravrand, Opalesque Geneva: While the Cayman Islands, the US and Hong Kong await the pan-European marketing passport to be extended to alternative investment fund

  4. Vilas’ equity long bias hedge fund generates market-beating results[more]

    Komfie Manalo, Opalesque Asia: The Vilas Fund, an equity long bias fund managed by Chicago, Illinois-based Vilas Capital Management, posted five-year annualized returns, net of fees, of 23.47% vs. 15.87% for the S&P 500 Index, including divid

  5. Performance - Manager admits spin used to hide poor performance, Fortress macro hedge fund slumps 17.2% amid manager shakeup, In the hedge fund world, bigger is still better[more]

    Manager admits spin used to hide poor performance From … Colin McLean, managing director of SVM Asset Management, told FTAdviser that fund managers underperform all the time, so stories are often needed to mask or explain this. “People need to build a good framework