For two years, Dan Kamensky waged a grueling and bitter war against Neiman Marcus owners Ares Management and the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board. The Marble Ridge Capital chief lambasted them for attempting to screw over unsecured creditors by spinning off its MyTheresa e-commerce business. The whole thing certainly got quite nasty at times. And then, when Neiman was at its lowest, in bankruptcy and accused of default by Deutsche Bank of all counterparties, Kamensky turned the screws, forcing Ares and CPPIB to give up some of their stake in MyTheresa to make exiting bankruptcy possible.
Since then, however, the shoe has rather been on the other foot, with Kamensky accused by the U.S. Bankruptcy trustee of abusing his position on the creditors committee and possession of confidential information to stop Jefferies from bidding on the MyTheresa shares being put on offer by Neiman’s owners, since, you know, he wanted them as well—all of them, and for less money than Jefferies’ other client was willing to pay. This has Kamensky shutting down his hedge fund and possibly facing jailtime. But if he’d hoped that Ares and CPPIB had forgotten all his slings and arrows, or were prepared to show mercy to a vanquished foe while down, well, they haven’t, and aren’t.
Neiman is seeking more than $60 million in damages from the hedge fund. The retailer is also asking a judge to subordinate Marble Ridge’s claims against Neiman during its bankruptcy proceedings. Because unsecured creditors aren’t being paid in full, ranking the hedge fund’s claim below the other creditors would essentially wipe out its Neiman holdings…. Because of Marble Ridge’s illegal actions, the lawsuit says, Neiman’s creditors lost out on the opportunity to cash out their MyTheresa shares for $42 million to $54 million.
This, obviously, does not sit well with Marble Ridge.
“Marble Ridge believes this attempt to discredit Marble Ridge and interfere with its operations by concocting damages is vindictive retaliation and motivated by Marble Ridge having previously exposed wrongdoing of Neiman Marcus and its equity sponsors over the past two years,” the spokesman said Thursday in response to Neiman’s lawsuit.
I mean, fair enough, but Neiman can hardly do more to discredit the hedge fund or Kamensky than the trustee did.