Globe and Mail – Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. is claiming a victory in a long-running legal battle with U.S. hedge funds after brokerage firm Morgan Keegan & Co. Inc. revealed on Wednesday it has fired an analyst embroiled in a dispute with Fairfax.
Morgan Keegan confirmed it fired analyst John Gwynn last month for giving a report on Fairfax to some clients before it was published.
Fairfax has sued Morgan Keegan, based in Memphis, Tenn., and a group of U.S. hedge funds, alleging they worked together to damage Fairfax’s reputation and drive down its share price. Fairfax called it a “massive, illegal and continuing scheme that has targeted and severely harmed Fairfax.”
One of Fairfax’s claims in the suit is an allegation that Mr. Gwynn told hedge funds about negative reports before he issued them publicly, allowing hedge funds to short-sell Fairfax’s stock and profit after the news was released.
Toronto-based Fairfax has particularly pointed to Mr. Gwynn’s first report on the company, published Jan. 16, 2003, which said the company had a shortfall in its reserves. The company’s share price fell 28 per cent in the three days after the report was published.