Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Is Steel Partners stealing?

So says Bank of America. Steel partners investors wanted to redeem their interests. Instead, all the assets of Steel Partners, were merged into a pink sheet company, Web Financial, that will convert into Web Financial LP, and will not trade, pending a review by NASDAQ OMXisreview.

Activist hedge fund firm Steel Partners is being sued by Bank of America and ACF Industries on charges that the company committed fraud by not properly advising investors of its plans to go public, according to court documents.

Steel Partners is trying to turn its largest portfolio into a publicly traded partnership.

The lawsuit charges that the hedge fund was not in compliance with its obligations to investors as it pursued its plan to become a publicly traded partnership because it failed to give ample notice of the plan or an opportunity to vote on the proposal.

Of course, an "independent" board of directors approved the move. (It looks like Steel Partners board was as "independent" as Satyam's!) Now the assets will be in a shell, that won't trade, that won't be disclosed, and is SEC non reporting.

Of course, there may be an innocent explanation for Steel Partner's action, and maybe like Madoff, we may find that the only similarity between them is that they both were homonymetically challenged!

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