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Jul 13, 2018

Callidus Capital plunges to record low after scrapping dividend

Sign shows the entrance to the offices of Callidus Capital in Toronto

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Callidus Capital Corp. (CBL.TO) plunged as much as 43 per cent to a record low Friday after the embattled lender eliminated its dividend, citing new funding requirements.

Shares fell as low as $3.01 before rebounding to $3.61 at 10:35 a.m. in Toronto. The distressed debt lender’s stock has lost more than 80 per cent since January 2017.

Callidus said it has closed a new loan for approximately $125 million, bringing its total loan book to $1.1 billion. The company is scrapping its 10 cents a share monthly dividend “in light of the resumption of growth in the loan portfolio and anticipated funding requirements to support this growth.”

The company, a subsidiary of Catalyst Capital Group Inc., Canada’s second-largest private equity firm, also said it continues to pursue a privatization transaction.

Callidus has been targeted by short-sellers for much of the time it has been public, with a Reuters report in March questioning the quality of its loan book. A Wall Street Journal report last year that said at least four people filed whistle-blower complaints alleging fraud at Catalyst Capital. Its short interest currently stands at 7.5 per cent of its free float, up from 3.5 per cent in April, according to Markit data.