HT1 Funding – Hedgefund edition

Last week I quickly outlined the tender offer for the HT1 funding.

In short, Commerzbank is offering 71% for HT1, however in shares based on the VWAP of the shares in a certain time period.

Today, almost 2 mn EUR of nominal HT1 have been traded at 68.85% on average, well below the 71% offer price.

So a (small) hedge fund could make the following arbitrage:

– buy the HT1 at 68.85%
– sell the respective shares at VWAP over the relevant period (which is no problem to achieve as institutional investor)

Share lending for Commerzbank currently costs 4-5% p.a. so for the roughly 2 weeks the payoff would be (71-68.85)-transaction cost. If we assume a transaction cost of overall 0.5% we still would have an “arbitrage” gain of 2.5% for 2 weeks. This could be in theory leveraged a couple of times to make it more interesting.

The only risk factor is that it is not clear how much Commerzbank will effectively accept or how much of the total packageis actually offered to Commerzbank.

In comparison, the UT2 bond which has a higher priority, is trading at 81,4%, a lot closer to the offer price of 82.5%. Based on my “gut feeling”, the

So in theory one could calculate the implict acceptance quotas for the different tranches based on those quotes relative to their offer price.

For any normal investor this sounds like peanuts, but for hedgefunds this is really an interesting opportunity to make non-market related returns within a very short time horizon.

For the portfolio, I would have joined the “party” if it wouldn’t be too much work to execute the transaction.

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