Harbinger's Falcone Offers Details On SEC Investigations

Apr 29 2011 | 1:33pm ET

Philip Falcone, the billionaire behind Harbinger Capital Partners, has given his investors more information about three U.S. government investigations into his $6 billion firm.

Reuters quotes a private, year-end financial statement in which Falcone acknowledges the SEC is looking into whether Harbinger violated a short-selling rule involving three stocks in 2008 and whether it engaged in market manipulation in unnamed debt securities between 2006 and 2008.

The financial statement also shows that his firm paid $60 million to settle a suit with Nacco Industries. The company, which sells appliances under the Hamilton Beach brand, sued Harbinger for allegedly using non-public information to derail its acquisition efforts.

The regulation in question in the short-selling investigation is Rule 105 which says investors cannot participate in the public offerings of securities they’ve shorted.

Falcone called the probes “informal,” said his firm was “cooperating” with the investigations, and underlined that no criminal charges had been laid.

The Harbinger head also told investors that regulators were still looking at a $113 million personal loan he took from the hedge fund—and repaid in full in 2010.

Reuters quotes a person close to the situation who says Falcone revealed all to investors in the name of transparency.

The filing also says Harbinger has a $250 million unfounded commitment to LightSquared, a wireless telco of which Harbinger now controls about 80%. Harbinger has invested some 40% of its assets in the telco.

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