GameStop Frenzy Delivers $123 Million Windfall to Canada Duo
(Bloomberg) -- A small Canadian investment firm is riding GameStop Corp.’s Reddit-fueled stock moves, adding $123 million to the wealth of the father-and-son duo who control it.
Montreal-based Senvest Capital Inc., which does public and private investments, is up 64% this year amid the GameStop trading frenzy. Senvest Capital controls fund manager Senvest Management LLC, which is GameStop’s seventh-largest shareholder, according to regulatory filings and data compiled by Bloomberg.
GameStop plunged 44% Thursday to $193.60, a drop so volatile that it triggered 19 trading halts. Senvest Capital rose 1% to C$284.50 in Toronto.
Senvest Management disclosed in October that it owned 3.6 million shares of GameStop, which has soared in a rally ignited by day traders using Reddit and other online forums to encourage others to buy the stock. The retailer’s shares briefly topped $500 in U.S. pre-market trading Thursday before their steep descent, as brokers began curbing trades in GameStop and other volatile stocks.
Richard Mashaal founded Senvest Management in 1997. The New York-based firm manages more than $1 billion in assets, according to its website. He and his father, Victor Mashaal, collectively own almost 55% of Senvest Capital, according to the latest filings. That stake is now worth C$406 million ($317 million).
That’s about C$158 million ($123 million) more than it was worth at the start of the year. Richard Mashaal declined to comment on the firm’s GameStop investment.
“The whole thing is wild,” said Josh Young, chief investment officer at Houston-based Bison Interests LLC said, who began buying Senvest Capital shares when GameStop’s stock hit $50. Senvest is thinly-traded and has no analyst coverage.
Bison traditionally invests in oil and gas stocks and became aware of Senvest Management from its previous energy holdings. Senvest is trading at a big discount to its net asset value, Young said, and those at the firm are “very contrarian investors.”
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