The new year isn’t looking any better for Eddie
Lampert and his hedge fund firm, ESL Investments, regarding a
disastrous investment in Sears Holding, the retailing giant
Lambert seized control of around the turn of the century.
After Sears shares tumbled 61 percent last year,
they’re already down in 2018. They fell another 10
percent last week, following the company’s announcement that it would close more than
100 more Sears and Kmart stores this month. It closed 330
stores last year. Sears has had two years of sales declines and
is swimming in red ink. Sears has lost 89 percent of its value
over the past five years, and closed Friday at $3.48.
Lampert owns about 30 percent of its shares outstanding, and
his hedge fund is also a lender to the flailing retail giant.
More than 56 percent of the free-floating shares have been sold
Crispin Odey’s European fund fell more than 20
percent last year, Bloomberg reported. That was the
fund’s second-straight year of double-digit
losses, as it fell 49.5 percent in 2016, according to
Bloomberg. London-based Crispin Odey is a well-known bear who
has criticized central bank monetary policy and last year
predicted that the credit cycle had peaked and that
China’s economic growth would start to slow,
HNA Group’ latest effort to buy a stake in an
asset manager has floundered, Reuters reported, in what has
become a series of setbacks for the Chinese conglomerate. HNA
had been in talks to take a stake in Hong Kong-listed Value
Partners Group, but those talks have stalled, sources told Reuters.
Over the past two years, HNA has made some $50 billion worth
of acquisitions in the financial industry that have begun to
bring scrutiny to the opaque and highly leveraged Chinese
company. In the U.S., its pending purchase of SkyBridge
Capital, the fund-of-funds firm co-founded by former Trump
communications director Anthony Scaramucci, still has not