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Falcone’s Harbinger Loses Appeal Over Northern Rock Stake Value

Harbinger Capital Partners LLC lost a U.K. appeal seeking compensation for a stake in Northern Rock Asset Management Plc that was valued as worthless when the British lender was nationalized in 2008.

Philip Falcone’s hedge fund had argued its shares were worth as much as 400 million pounds ($622 million). Judge John Mummery upheld the decision today of a lower court. Andrew Caldwell, an independent assessor from the accounting firm BDO International, had determined there was no value in the shares.

“I think that the valuer got it right,” Mummery said in a written ruling.

Northern Rock, the first British victim of the credit crisis, was rescued by the government in February 2008 after customers pulled 4.45 billion pounds of deposits, the first run on a British lender in more than a century. Harbinger’s lawyer, Mark Phillips, said in a 2011 trial that Caldwell’s valuation at the time was “utterly unreasonable.”

Steven Goldberg, a spokesman for New York-based Harbinger, didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

Other Northern Rock shareholders, including RAB Capital Ltd. and SRM Global, lost a July 2009 bid for a court review of how the equity of the bank would be valued.

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