There’s a Wall Street darling stock buried in the world’s most recent peak into how the rich and powerful guard their money.
The darling is French telecoms firm, Altice, which is down 12% on Amsterdam’s stock exchange Monday thanks to an M&A deal gone sour.
That isn’t the only cause for concern for Altice.
The firm is also mentioned in the Panama Papers, a leak of over 11 million documents from Panamanian law firm, Mossack Fonseca.
For decades, the firm has helped individuals and institutions incorporate their financial assets. On Sunday the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists published their findings from the data dump, including assets incorporated by people close to world leaders like Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Altice says that it used Mossack Fonseca back in 2008 and 2010 for “incidental transactions for reasons of strict confidentiality and in perfectly legal conditions with no tax impact, let alone foreign, near or far, for any purpose of evasion, concealment, or tax optimization.”
So nothing to see here.
Altice counts American asset managers like Vanguard, BlackRock, T Rowe Price and Fidelity among its biggest shareholders.
It’s also been popular in hedge fund land. Greenlight Capital’s David Einhorn held a long position in the stock until the middle of 2015. At that point, the stock was trading about $30 a share.
But then in the fall it started to take a beating. Altice was presented as a short position at the influential Sohn Investor Conference in Tel Aviv in October 2015.
Stephen Levey and Jonathan Half of ION Investment Management argued that the company wasn’t that profitable, but was simply the classic story of a company swept up in an M&A boom.
Now Altice is trading at around $13. At the start of 2016, two Tiger hedge funds — funds related to legendary investor Julian Robertson of Tiger Global — got caught in the fall out, Nehal Chopra’s Tiger Ratan Capital, and John Auerbach’s Hound Partners.
A year in Altice: