Centaurus Shutters Flagship After Investors Reject Lockup

Dec 4 2008 | 10:48am ET

Centaurus Capital will close its flagship hedge fund after investors unexpectedly rejected a restructuring plan.

Despite all of the troubles hedge funds have suffered this year, most have won the backing of their investors for restructuring plans, which usually include new lockups in exchange for lower fees. But investors in the Centaurus Alpha Fund, which had lost about a quarter of its value, refused to accept the new terms, the Financial Times reports. Just a handful of the Alpha Fund’s investors are expected to remain with Centaurus.

In October, Centaurus asked investors to accept a new two-year lockup in exchange for the return of 30% of their capital and reduced fees. The firm blamed a “deleveraging spiral” for its losses, which it called “far beyond what can be justified on the basis of fundamentals.”

Instead, Centaurus will return most of the $1.2 billion that is left in the Alpha Fund. The firm has imposed a 10% limit on monthly pay-outs, but hopes to wind the fund down as quickly as possible without being forced to sell assets at distressed prices.

But despite the failure of its top hedge fund—and the layoff of one-third of its staff—Centaurus will stay in business, the FT reports. It will continue to run its Asia hedge fund, and plans to launch new equity and credit funds next year.

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