Investors scramble to cash in on Imtech crisis
As trading of Dutch construction firm Imtech was suspended, UK and US hedge funds cashed in on the crisis, having held substantial short positions on the firm, which declared insolvency last week.
Between 2013 and 2015, Imtech has faced a number of corruption allegations, which resulted in the 2013 shareholder meeting being cancelled.
Imtech issued €600m in new shares in October last year, its share price plunged by more than 90% over that past weeks, it subsequently requested protection from its creditors on 10 August and went officially bankrupt on 13 August.
Data collected by Dutch regulator AFM now reveal that British hedge fund Lansdowne Partners and US-based hedge fund Lucerne Capital Management LLC had built up substantial short positions on the Dutch construction firm, which employed about 22.000 people across Europe. According to the AFM, Lansdowne Partners increased its short position on up to 2.52% of the outstanding equity capital.
Following the official default of the firm, Het Financieele Dagblad reports that some 30 investors, ranging from vulture funds to listed and other listed construction companies compete in buying subsidiaries of the bankrupt firm.