Business as Usual: Phil Falcone Starts a New Company


Embattled hedge fund manager and billionaire Phil Falcone seems unconcerned by the ongoing lawsuit filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission regarding allegations the he committed fraud putting the interests of investors in a disadvantage position. According to a Forbes report, Falcone is reading a new publicly traded company.

According to the report, the new company will be called Harbinger Global Corp. and it will receive $350 million funding from Harbinger Capital. Falcone plans to list Harbinger Global Corp. on the Nasdaq. The company would purchase a majority stake of the MGM Resorts International (NYSE:MGM) -hotel and casino development in Vietnam and a minority interest of a Brazilian company producing iron ore.

In a statement, Falcone says that his new business endeavors aim to provide an “enhanced liquidity of opportunities for meaningful capital appreciation” for the investors of his firm. He also believes the new company will bring “new permanent capital vehicle focused on emerging markets.” Falcone is expecting to close his new business transactions by August.

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Falcone will serve as Chairman of the Harbinger Global Corp. while Peter Ziegler, an Australian banker will serve as CEO. He was instrumental in negotiating Falcone’s investment in Australia Acquisition Corp., the original name of Harbinger Global Corp. The current investors of the original company were given two options, to redeem their shares, and they will be paid with cash. The amount would be equal to the pro rate shared of the funds remaining from its IPO in 2010. The second option is to stay, grow or fail with Falcone.

Going back to the lawsuit filed against him by the SEC, Falcone denied all the SEC allegations. According to him, he did not commit any irregularity in his transactions. He vowed to fight the charges against him “vigorously.”  The hedge-fund manager allegedly borrowed $113 million from his Harbinger Capital Partners to pay his personal taxes and his firm favored certain investors such as Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS) to cash out its investments while are other investors were restricted. The hedge-fund manager was also charged of manipulating the market price for specific bonds and stock.

Falcone’s “business as usual” attitude demonstrates his audacity considering the fact that he is confronted with legal charges.

If you are an investor, are you going to trust Falcone? Just asking…

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