Phil Falcone Doesn't Need Any Maror On His Seder Plate Next Week

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Not just because he's not Jewish, but also because, according to Dealbook, he's already got a bitter taste in his mouth. (Which, somewhat surprisingly, has nothing to do with his 5 year ban from the securities industry or Charlie Eregn.)

At Seder tables next week, many Passover celebrants will nosh on matzo and gefilte fish made by the Manischewitz Company. But for one hedge fund manager, Philip A. Falcone, Manischewitz may leave a bitter taste. Mr. Falcone — chief executive of the hedge fund Harbinger Capital Partners, which until recently owned a controlling interest in Manischewitz — suffered a loss when Harbinger sold its position to Sankaty Advisors, an arm of the private equity giant Bain Capital, this week, people close to the matter said...Harbinger paid roughly $60 million for Manischewitz’s debt, according to people briefed on the matter who were not authorized to discuss it publicly. Last year, Harbinger sold the debt to Sankaty for about $55 million in a deal negotiated by Jefferies bankers. But Harbinger’s losses are probably greater than those numbers suggest. In all, Harbinger sank more than $100 million into Manischewitz during the years it owned the company, and it went though a series of chief executives who were unable to revive its fortunes.

For Falcone, Manischewitz May Leave a Bitter Aftertaste [Dealbook]

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Phil Falcone Is Turning His Life Around

To put it lightly, the last couple years have been a rather dark time for Phil Falcone. Though his woes are too numerous to mention in full, they include: the adversity he's faced in getting people to believe in LightSquared; his unbelievably pissy investors, who still aren't over the time he borrowed $113 million from a gated fund to pay personal taxes, or offered to pay out redemptions in illiquid LightSquared equity; the Securities and Exchange Commission, which wants him banned from the industry for life; the woman who once offered a respite from it all, who now won't even come out of her room when she knows he's home; and, of course, the plunging returns in his once highly profitable hedge fund. It would be enough to make a grown man say 'Fuck, it. I'm done.' Put a few things in a sack, tie it to the blade of a hockey stick, and hitchhike back to Minnesota. But Phil didn't do that and now? After a merciless storm of shit that felt like it would never ease up? After long days of investors and regulators breathing down his neck and nights of having to pound on the front door because he was accidentally purposely locked out of the house? The tide feels like it's turning for Philip Falcone. Beleaguered hedge fund honcho Phil Falcone’s big bet on his own publicly traded entity, Harbinger Group, is helping to lift his troubled hedge fund, Harbinger Capital Management, out of the deep end. Falcone’s flagship fund posted returns of 10.6 percent in July and a whopping 28 percent gain in June. Of course, he's still down 5.8 percent year-to-date, and the the director of the SEC's division of enforcement wants hedge fund graduate schools to use Harbinger as a case study during the unit on "how to operate a hedge fund unlawfully," but tonight? Tonight he tells Lisa to treat herself to something nice. Tonight he tells Wilbur to pull the baby grand out of the closet, where it's sat untouched for months. Tonight his key works in the lock. Tonight we dance. Phil Helps Himself [NYP]