Kyle Bass Short 'Virtually Worthless' UDF, Was Original Author Of Anonymous Harvest Bear Thesis
United Development Funding IV (NASDAQ: UDF) shares are down 12 percent after Kyle Bass' Hayman Capital launched a website calling the company a "billion dollar house of cards."
"Almost like the game of musical chairs, I suspected that the music would soon end and investors in the Dallas-based REIT would be left with no chair," the site quotes a past analysis from Forbes' Brad Thomas.
UDF IV stock initially fell significantly after an anonymous report was published on Harvest, comparing the company to a Ponzi scheme. Citron Research's Andrew Left later told Benzinga he thought the company's stock could "go to 0."
Following a statement from the company, which said the report was created by a hedge fund attempting to "unlawfully profit by manipulating" the stock, the anonymous Harvest author compared UDF to Enron and Madoff, stating those scandals began with SEC fact-finding investigations. The company confirmed in early December it had been cooperating with the SEC since April 2014.
A source familiar with the matter has told Benzinga that Hayman Capital was the author of the anonymous Harvest report.
Latest Developments: Launch Of 'UDFExposed' Website
On Friday, Bass' Hayman Capital launched a site called "UDFExposed." The entity is paying for Google AdWords to appear on UDF-related search phrases.
According to a letter from Bass, the hedge fund is short UDF because it has "exhibited characteristics consistent with a Ponzi scheme" larger than $1 billion. Bass cited UDF's use of new investor money to pay existing investors, a distorted track record and its use of complex real-estate backed loans to confuse "Mom and Pop" investors.
Bass added that he believes UDF faces "significant bankruptcy risk," leaving shares of the company "virtually worthless."
The key facts section of the site delves into further details, explaining everything from Hayman's letter to UDF's auditor, to multiple lawsuits concerning the company.
UDF did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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