Steel Partners Seeks to Convert Biggest Fund to Public Company

Bloomberg – Activist investor Warren Lichtenstein is seeking to convert his largest hedge fund into a publicly traded partnership after clients sought to withdraw 38 percent of their money.

The $1.2 billion Steel Partners II Fund lost 39 percent last year and froze redemptions in December, according to a presentation to investors last week. Lichtenstein is asking investors to approve a plan to merge the fund with WebFinancial LP, a publicly traded partnership it already controls. The move will allow withdrawals to resume without forcing the fund to liquidate assets.

“The WebFinancial structure achieves our objectives of providing liquidity to those that want it, while maximizing value for all our investors,” New York-based Steel Partners LLC said in a statement. If the conversion is approved, the firm expects investors to be able to begin selling WebFinancial units by June.

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