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Phil Falcone Wants To Take Your Backyard To The Next Level

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Two weeks back, Phil Falcone resigned from the board of LightSquared Inc, the bankrupt wireless-spectrum owner he has poured his heart and soul into over the last god-knows-how-many years. He still owns a piece of the company, of course, but now that he's no longer a director, he's got a lot more time on his hands to focus on other pursuits, with same level of dedication he previously gave to his old passion project. And now that his waking hours don't involve dealing with naysayers who would put "may cost 794 lives in aviation accidents over 10 years with disruptions to satellite-aided navigation" in the column for why LightSquared should never see the light of day, he's got a new dream. And that dream involves weed control, potted plants, and yes, bird feeders, too.

Philip Falcone is close to mounting a $1.1bn unsolicited offer for one of the US’s largest lawn seed producers, in what would mark a return to dealmaking by the high-profile hedge fund manager. Harbinger Group, the New York fund of which Mr Falcone is chief executive, will make a public offer to buy Central Garden & Pet for about $10 a share in cash after months of failing to agree a deal in private, according to people familiar with the matter. High quality global journalism requires investment. A takeover of CG&P, which sells outdoor goods ranging from weedkiller to aviaries, comes less than a year after Mr Falcone and Harbinger agreed an $18m settlement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission after admitting to misusing customer funds to pay personal taxes. The settlement became a test case for the SEC’s ability to hold companies and individuals more accountable. As well as a straightforward offer for the whole of CG&P, which would value it at about $1.1bn including debt, Harbinger is also exploring making an offer for just the pet division, worth about $750m in cash, according to people familiar with the matter.

Falcone eyes $1.1bn lawn seed deal [FT]
Falcone’s Harbinger Group Offers to Buy Central Garden and Pet [Dealbook]

Related

Who Wants To Invest In Phil Falcone's New Company?

Harbinger Global Corp is coming to an exchange near you. Phil Falcone, the embattled billionaire hedge fund manager, has put together an unorthodox IPO that will see his hedge fund firm contribute assets valued at $350 million to a blank check company that will trade publicly. In the deal, a special purpose acquisition company that is expected to trade on Nasdaq and be known as Harbinger Global Corp., will acquire a majority interest in an MGM-branded hotel and casino development in Vietnam and a minority interest in an iron ore producer working in Brazil. Funds run by Falcone’s Harbinger Capital Management that are contributing the assets will get an ownership stake that could be as high as 96% in Harbinger Global and Falcone is slated to become executive chairman of the company. Falcone’s move to become closely involved in a publicly-traded company is audacious given that he is currently facing securities fraud charges from the Securities & Exchange Commission. Yeah, well, people also thought it was audacious for him to invite a burlesque dancing pig he barely knew to come and live with him and she turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to him, so.

New Harbinger Group CEO Doesn't Want To Hear The Words 'Phil' Or 'Falcone' In His Presence

And apparently the first rule of the new Harbinger Group is that there is no Harbinger group.

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]