Citi To Liquidate Bailed-Out Hedge Funds

Nov 19 2008 | 12:01pm ET

In a bad year for hedge funds, no one has had it worse than Citi Alternative Investments. Citigroup, which has already shuttered its flagship hedge fund this year, is closing several more, beneficiaries of the firm’s multi-million hedge fund bailout earlier this year.

The firm is liquidating its Corporate Special Opportunities Fund, despite a $320 million equity infusion earlier this year. The fund lost more than half its value last month, and is down to just $58 million in net asset value, the Financial Times reports. CSO once managed $4.2 billion; it has debts of some $880 million.

Even with the capital infusion, as well as Citi’s placing of $1 billion in assets with the fund and $450 million in credit lines, investors are expected to get back no more than 10 cents on the dollar.

Citi is also unwinding its Falcon Strategies hedge funds, which once managed as much as $10 billion and which also received a bailout from the parent company earlier this year, the FT says. Investors are expected to get about 45 cents on the dollar out of those funds, including a $250 million subsidy from Citi.

Citi also bailed out six other hedge funds, its ASAT Finance and MAT Finance vehicles, to the tune of $1 billion.

CSO has been nothing but trouble for Citi this year. Its former manager, who says he was forced out after his superior overruled his attempt to cancel a $730 million order for levered loans, costing the fund $746 million, sued the firm for wrongful termination. His lawsuit accuses the firm of acting against the interest of CSO shareholders. The fund has also been sued by New York-based fund of hedge funds Robeco-Sage Capital, accusing the former manager, John Pickett, of lying about the fund’s condition in communications with investors.


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