Falcone's Harbinger Acquiring Spectrum Brands (SPB) Shares ~ market folly

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Falcone's Harbinger Acquiring Spectrum Brands (SPB) Shares

We have some transactions to update you on regarding shares of Spectrum Brands (SPB), Philip Falcone's hedge fund Harbinger Capital Partners, as well as hedge fund D.E. Shaw & Co's Laminar Portfolios. Firstly, we see that Harbinger filed an amended 13D with the SEC and now shows a 39.68% ownership stake in SPB with 12,153,819 shares. The filing was made due to activity on March 30th and we also have some color on recent transactions. We initially covered when Harbinger went activist on Spectrum back in 2009 as the company was reorganizing from Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Shares of Spectrum recently switched from ticker symbol SPEB in the over-the-counter (OTC) market and began trading under ticker SPB on the NYSE.

In the fine print of the recent filing, we see that Falcone's hedge fund has entered into a 10b5-1 purchase instruction with Credit Suisse Securities, "pursuant to which the parties thereto established a trading plan to effect purchases of up to 100,000 shares per week." These purchases can be made Monday through Thursday of each week at a price not to exceed $31.50. This plan will exist until either August 6th or the mailing of a definitive proxy statement to stockholders in connection with the merger, whichever date comes first.

Secondly, we see that Harbinger has entered an agreement with fellow hedge fund D.E. Shaw & Co (Laminar Portfolios) where Harbinger acquired Shaw's 89,300 shares at a price of $30 per share. This transaction was reflected in Form 4's filed with the SEC by both D.E. Shaw Laminar and Harbinger. In addition to this, Falcone's hedge fund updates us on the amount of SPB shares they purchased on March 31st and April 1st. Here is a breakdown of their transactions and keep in mind that the purchases executed at $30 are the D.E. Shaw transactions:

(click to enlarge)

So, Harbinger is slowly but surely scooping up the shares of Spectrum Brands (SPB). Overall, Falcone's hedge fund firm has been quite busy as of late. They of course recently announced plans for a 4G wireless network and completed the SkyTerra merger. Additionally, we took note that they've been selling some New York Times (NYT) shares as well. They've definitely been active in the SEC filing department, that's for sure. In terms of other activity out of fellow hedge fund D.E. Shaw, we saw they recently updated a position and we covered their research on leverage as well.

Taken from Yahoo Finance, Spectrum Brands "together with its subsidiaries, operates as a consumer products company worldwide. The company offers consumer batteries, including alkaline and zinc carbon batteries, rechargeable batteries and chargers."

To see what other equity positions Falcone owns, you can view Harbinger's portfolio here.

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