It’s difficult to determine if activist hedge fund titan Paul Singer of Elliott Management has a smile on his face as he toys with the nation of Argentina, but his recent lawsuit against the nation’s aerospace plans have those in the hedge fund world snickering.

Hedge Fund World Snickers As Elliott Sues Argentina Over Space Plans

Activist hedge fund Elliott seeks to seize Argentina’s satellites

NML Capital Ltd, a unit of Elliott Management Corp., is suing Argentina in California to seize two satellites the country is planning to launch into space. Elliott is operated by activist hedge fund manager Paul Singer. According to court documents, Argentina purchased two contracts for satellite launches in 2015 and 2016 from Space Exploration Technologies Corp.  NML is arguing the contracts are commercial property and thus not protected by sovereign immunity laws in a bid to claim a $1.7 billion settlement the hedge fund was previously awarded by a US court.

Dispute dates back to bond default, has implications for all debt issuers

The dispute between the government of Argentina and Elliott dates back to the country’s 2001 default on $80 billion in privately held debt. After defaulting, in 2005 the government offered bond holders, including Elliott, a deal worth approximately 27 cents on the dollar with upside tied to future growth. 

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