Phil Falcone’s Harbinger Capital lost big last month according to Reuters. His flagship fund, Harbinger Capital Partners Fund II, L.P., lost almost 17% while the Harbinger Capital Partners Special Situations Fund, L.P. lost 9.65 percent. The losses put the YTD return through the end of September for the former at roughly 12%.
Phil Falcone is Betting on LightSquared
LightSquared was blamed for most of the losses. The telecommunications start up is one of Harbinger’s biggest investments. LightSquared wants to develop a nationwide 4G network, but it is facing resistance from various defense and aviation groups that claim the system will interfere with “fine-tuned GPS signals used by farmers, air-traffic controllers and the military.” Falcone has been dealing with this for several months now, spending roughy $1.6 million in lobbyist fees this year, and another $695,000 in 2010, to try to explain LightSquared’s technology to the people that are determining whether the company gets to build its network at all. As of October 24, Falcone has nine lobbyist groups on his cause: American Continental Group, Ballard Spahr, Dickstein Shapiro, Gephardt Group, Nethercutt Consulting, K&L Gates, Gibson Dunn, Podesta Group and Shockey Scofield Solution.
Phil Falcone Reports Late
According to Reuters, “This month, Falcone took significantly longer to say how he fared than most hedge fund managers who typically notify clients five business days after the end of the month.” The story says that “several Falcone investors have said that he had irked them before by failing to describe in a timely manner his plans to revamp the fund by stocking it with LightSquared securities and that he took a loan from the portfolio to pay taxes.” Reuters reports, “Even though many clients have demanded to get their money back in the last months, Falcone told them this summer that he would not be paying out cash but would instead hand out non-tradable shares in LightSquared.”