The firm is a specialist in taking short positions in companies that are about to collapse, such as Dia, OHL or Banco Popular.

The firm is a specialist in taking short positions in companies that are about to collapse, such as Dia, OHL or Banco Popular.

The firm is a specialist in taking short positions in companies that are about to collapse, such as Dia, OHL or Banco Popular.

Headquarters of the Prisa group, publisher of 'El País', in the center of Madrid.

The weakness of the action Rushits high debt and the bad omens from the press and media sector have turned the company into a Easy prey for opportunistic and bearish funds.

The last movement has come from the manager Melqartthat through its background Melqart Opportunities Master Fundhas increased its participation in Rush up to 4.1%. The company notified the movement on October 7 to the CNMV. To date they had 3.59% of the group.

As explained in the records of the CNMV, Melqart does not have shares but derivatives. More specifically, contracts for difference (CFD), financial instruments typical of speculative investors who bet that a company’s share continues to show strong price movements with the aim of having a quick return.

These derivatives grant the same voting rights as the shares, so the participation of Melqart in Haste is equivalent to that of any industrial or historical partner of the publisher of The country and Cadena Ser. This is included in the register of significant shareholders of the CNMV.

In fact, the 4.1% who declared Melqart is equal to the 4.15% that it has Santander Bank in a hurry. With this package, it is also above 4% of the Mexican Carlos Fernandez and is close to 5% of Charles Slim. However, it is still far from the 7.6 of the family Polanco or 9.1% of HSBC.

Funds vs institutional

However, the data is very relevant in the case of Santander. With these figures, an opportunistic fund that bets on the demolition of the stock of Rush It has the same participation as one of the companies that has most firmly defended the ‘Spanishization’ of the group.

Before the summer Santander and Telefonica (with 9.4%), supported Javier Monzón in the presidency of Prisa, despite the onslaught of Amber Capital that with 29% of the shares wanted to have tighter control of the company’s management. Finally, the refinancing of Prisa’s debt was unblocked and Monzón undertook to separate Santillana from the press business.

However, the picture has not improved in the last three months. The company’s share remains at historical lows (it closed on Thursday at 0.49 euros), with a rock-bottom stock market valuation of 332 million and a fall of 67% so far this year.

In the same way, and with a debt of 1,500 million euros, work is being done to close the offer of the creditor bank (BNP Paribas, HSBC and some backgrounds like CVC) that promised better refinancing conditions. The details of the structural separation of Prisa into two companies are also yet to be known, a movement in which the company can play a good part of its future.

Faced with this situation, opportunistic funds continue to lurk. Melqart has the sad record of investing in companies in demolition. In Spain, it already did so very actively between 2017 and 2018 in companies with very poor prospects such as Abengoa, Dia, OHL or Banco Popular.

Stock Market Penalty

Stories of a lot of stock market punishment and problems with creditors that Melqart He knew how to take advantage of it to obtain profitability. In fact, in the sector it is one of the most feared funds and it is said that when it puts a company in the spotlight, it is because they foresee a clear downtrend.

In the case of Prisa, they entered in March of last year with 3.2%, although it has not been until now that they have increased their position until reaching a package comparable to other institutional investors. curves are coming.


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