Hedge Fund Harbinger Boosts Sable Mining Stake ~ market folly

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Hedge Fund Harbinger Boosts Sable Mining Stake

Back in December 2009, we reported that Philip Falcone's hedge fund firm Harbinger Capital Partners had built a large stake in Sable Mining Africa (AIM: SBLM). Since then, Harbinger have continued to boost their position. Due to trading on March 23rd, they now own 23.35% of the company. This is quite a large increase since the last time we saw their stake and you can see the gradual rise in ownership broken down below:

December 17th, 2009: 15.1% ownership stake
February 11th, 2010: 15.05%
February 17th, 2010: 17.11%
February 22nd, 2010: 18.03%
March 3rd, 2010: 19.08%
March 23rd, 2010: 23.35%

If you're unfamiliar with our series of tracking hedge fund positions in UK markets, we posted a preface here. Additionally, we've covered Harbinger's UK positions in detail before for those interested.

Boosting their stake in Sable Mining isn't the only activity we've seen out of Falcone's hedge fund as of late. We also saw them adjust their Calpine position and in the past noted their bet on Spring Nextel (S). After having a dismal 2008, Harbinger had a solid showing last year as they finished up 46.5% as we noted in our 2009 hedge fund performance numbers post. Falcone runs his $6 billion hedge fund with a focus on distressed plays and often takes concentrated positions in companies.

Sable Mining Africa Ltd is small company listed on the AIM market in London. It was re-named in November 2009 and used to be called BioEnergy Africa. Sable changed in 2009 with a move away from bio-ethanol related assets into mining related energy assets. Sable Mining is now focused on the acquisition or investment in early stage coal and uranium with a particular emphasis on Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia. The company intends to be an active investor in an attempt to add value both operationally and strategically to the businesses it acquires or invests in. The company’s objective is to own entire or majority interests in suitable businesses or assets rather than holding minority investments. To facilitate the new strategy, the company undertook a fundraising via a placing of new ordinary shares in December 2009. It is likely that Harbinger bought shares in the placement at a price below the quoted market share price. Sable’s Chairman is ex-England cricketer and slow left arm bowler, Phil Edmonds.

For more of our coverage of hedge fund Harbinger Capital, head to our portfolio updates.

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