Centaurus Seeks New Lock-Up For Struggling Flagship

Oct 23 2008 | 1:42am ET

Another day brings news of another high-profile hedge fund seeking to restructure a struggling hedge fund.

Centaurus Capital, facing huge redemption requests, is asking investors to accept a new two-year lockup in its flagship Centaurus Alpha Fund in exchange for a return of 30% of their capital and reduced fees, The Wall Street Journal reports. The firm’s principals will speak with clients over the next few weeks in the hopes of finalizing plans by the middle of next month. If approved, the new terms would take effect on Dec. 1.

“In the last few weeks, global markets have ceased to function normally and have experienced unprecedented levels of dislocation,” Centaurus told investors in a letter sent yesterday. “Falling equity and credit markets have led to a deleveraging spiral which has led to further falls in asset prices to levels which we believe are far beyond what can be justified on the basis of fundamentals.”

The $2 billion Alpha Fund has lost 22% this year, and Centaurus has received withdrawal requests representing about half its assets.

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