GameStop Frenzy Delivers $123 Million Windfall to Canada Duo

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.

GameStop Frenzy Delivers $123 Million Windfall to Canada Duo

“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.”

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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