Harbinger Down 47% As LightSquared Valuation Slashed By More Than Half

Feb 3 2012 | 10:28am ET

Harbinger Capital Partners' flagship hedge fund plummeted in value last year, falling with the fortunes of the controversial wireless Internet venture it is backing.

The New York-based hedge fund dropped 47% in 2011, Bloomberg News reports. Most of that decline can be attributed to LightSquared: Harbinger, which has invested more than half of its assets in the wireless company, wrote down LightSquared's value by 59% last year amidst questions about its interference with global positioning systems and whether it will ever get off the ground.

Harbinger's flagship has more than 60% of its assets invested in LightSquared.

"The decline was primarily due to a conservative adjustment in the fund's holdings of LightSquared, to be consistent with the results of work done by the fund's third-party valuation fund," spokesman Lew Phelps said. "The valuation takes into account uncertainty about the outcome of political issues related to alleged interference with the GPS system by LightSquared transmitters."

With LightSquared doing so badly, Harbinger could have used some help from the rest of its portfolio. It didn't get any. Its private equity portfolio, including a side-pocket, lost 31% last year, while Spectrum Brands Holding, which it used to create a permanent capital vehicle in 2010 and which it owns 54% of, lost 12% on the year.


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