Harbinger Capital Partners
|Harbinger Capital Partners|
|Based in||New York|
|Active in||North America, South America, Australia|
|Targeted||base metals, construction minerals, energy fuels|
Harbinger Capital Partners is run by hedge fund manager, Philip Falcone. He became notorious in 2008 (when the populist British newspaper, The Daily Mirror, dubbed him “A greedy pig US billionaire” [Daily Mirror, 18 September 2008], for “shorting” (betting against a rise in price) of his stock in the HBOS insurer and mortgage lender, and thus contributing to the bank’s eventual collapse. In early 2009, Harbinger made a bid for the assets of bankrupted miner, Asarco Copper of the US. However he withdrew the bid in August 2009, when he was widely rumoured to have put his weight (and bonds held by himself and Citigroup in Asarco) behind an attempt by Vedanta Resources’ subisidiary, Sterlite Industries India Ltd, to gain control of the American company. Asarco is saddled with billions of dollars of claims against it for environmental violations, and its failure to pay compensation to thousands of asbestos victims [see Venture Capital Circle website, 5 August 2009].
Harbinger in 2008 held 18% - as the biggest shareholder – in Cleveland Cliffs Inc, a major US iron ore producer [MJ 25 July 2008]. Harbinger in July 2009 opposed the company's plans to buy coal-miner Alpha Natural, saying it might provide alternatives to “maximise shareholder value” including possible changes to the management or board [Mining Weekly 18 July 2009]. If the deal were to proceed it would, according to Mining Weekly “create the largest iron-ore producer in North America and the biggest coal-miner in the US, with nine iron-ore facilities and more than 60 coal mines, in North America, South America and Australia [Mining Weekly, ibid].