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A hedge fund that was one of GameStop Corp.’s top shareholders gained about 60 per cent in the first two months of the year after selling its stake during the retailer’s Reddit-fueled surge.
Senvest Management LLC’s Senvest Master Fund LP returned 15.3 per cent in February, according to a preliminary estimate published by Montreal-based Senvest Capital Inc., avoiding a big loss on GameStop, which fell 69 per cent during the month.
New York-based Senvest Management held just over 5 million shares of GameStop, making it the fourth largest holder, according to Bloomberg data and a February 13G filing. The firm told the Wall Street Journal in early February that it had exited the position in late January. The fund gained 38.5 per cent that month.
Senvest Capital, which controls fund manager Senvest Management, was used by some investors as another way to play the GameStop phenomenon. Senvest Capital’s Toronto-listed stock has risen over 76 per cent this year to about $307, trading near a record high.
Richard Mashaal and his father Victor Mashaal collectively own about 55 per cent of Senvest Capital, according to the latest filings.
The company’s New York-based money management unit was founded in 1997 and manages over US$2 billion in assets, with a strategy of “contrarian, value-based” investing, according to its website. Steve Bruce, a spokesman for Senvest, declined to comment. Senvest has stakes in Tower Semiconductor Ltd. and DSP Group Inc., according to Bloomberg data. Meanwhile, the fund took a 1.4 per cent position in Flagstar Bancorp Inc. during the fourth quarter, according to last month’s 13F filing.
GameStop closed as high as US$347.51 in late January as frenetic buying created a short squeeze, then plunged to below US$41 on Feb. 18. A new wave of Reddit users has pushed the shares back up to their highest level since early February, closing at US$132.35 on Thursday.