Sat, Jan 31, 2015
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   |   
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