RPT-UPDATE 3-Ospraie fund to close after 27 percent August slide

miércoles 3 de septiembre de 2008 05:58 CEST

(Repeats to more subscribers with no change to text)

By Paritosh Bansal

NEW YORK, Sept 2 (Reuters) - Hedge fund manager Ospraie Management LLC will close its flagship fund after it plunged 27 percent in August on losses in energy, mining and natural resources equity holdings, in one of the biggest ever closures of a commodities-focused hedge fund.

The closure of the fund, announced by the firm's founder Dwight Anderson in a letter to investors on Tuesday, could be more bad news for Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc LEH.N, which took a 20 percent stake in the hedge fund manager in 2005.

One expert said the closure of the fund, which at the time of the letter's writing had lost 38.59 percent this year, may also have played a role in bringing down U.S. stocks on Tuesday, which fell after initially climbing more than 1 percent. Lehman shares were down more than 3 percent in after-hours trading.

"This is just adding to the fire for commodity-related names," said Peter Holst, managing director at Delta Global Advisors in Southern California. "Even this morning when the market opened, some of the names that Ospraie has positions in were getting hammered."

Ospraie and Lehman declined to comment.

As of the beginning of August, the flagship fund, Ospraie Fund Ltd., had $2.8 billion invested, a person familiar with the situation said.

Ospraie Management still manages $4 billion in other investment funds, including a special opportunities fund, the source said. That fund bought the commodity trading and merchandising operations of ConAgra Foods Inc (CAG.N: Cotización) earlier this year.   Continuación...