A Wall Street-darling stock is buried in the world’s most recent peek into how the rich and powerful guard their money.
The darling is the French telecoms firm Altice, which is down 12% on Amsterdam’s stock exchange Monday thanks to a mergers-and-acquisitions deal gone sour.
That isn’t the only cause for concern for Altice.
The firm is also mentioned in the Panama Papers, a leak of over 11 million documents from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca.
For decades, the firm has helped individuals and institutions incorporate their financial assets. On Sunday the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists published its findings from the data dump, including assets incorporated by people close to world leaders like Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Altice says it used Mossack Fonseca back in 2008 and 2010 for “incidental transactions for reasons of strict confidentiality and in perfectly legal conditions with no tax impact, let alone foreign, near or far, for any purpose of evasion, concealment, or tax optimization.”
So nothing to see here.
Altice counts American asset managers like Vanguard, BlackRock, T. Rowe Price, and Fidelity among its biggest shareholders.
It has also been popular in hedge fund land. Greenlight Capital’s David Einhorn held a long position in the stock until the middle of 2015. At that point, the stock was trading about $30 a share.
But then in the fall it started to take a beating. Altice was presented as a short position at the influential Sohn Investor Conference in Tel Aviv, Israel, in October.
Stephen Levey and Jonathan Half of Ion Asset Management argued that the company wasn’t that profitable and was simply the classic story of a company swept up in an M&A boom.
Now Altice is trading at about $13. At the start of 2016, two Tiger hedge funds – funds related to legendary investor Julian Robertson of Tiger Management – got caught in the fallout, Nehal Chopra’s Tiger Ratan Capital, and John Auerbach’s Hound Partners.
A year in Altice:
- Yahoo Finance