Luxor Capital Group, a private equity firm with components in New York and the Cayman Islands, has accumulated a 17.62-percent stake in Valencia developer Five Point Holdings LLC in the last two weeks, SEC records show.
Fund manager Christian Leone, whose firms have more than $3 billion under management and who is known to have a keen eye for undervalued companies, started buying Five Point’s Class A securities at seemingly bargain prices on the open market shortly after March 16. On that date, two things happened: Five Point hosted an investor conference call in which CEO Emile Haddad explained how his company is well positioned to weather the current storm; and an independent analyst issued a report suggesting Five Point shares might be 34 percent undervalued.
Homebuilder share prices fell off a cliff after the novel coronavirus pandemic took hold in the United States in late February, and Five Point has been no exception.
In the conference call, Haddad noted that after two years of active land development, Five Point has sold 781 Valencia homesites (west of Interstate 5) to builders who are expected to open them for sale by the end of the year. The Valencia project isn’t encumbered by debt, he said, so it can sit and wait if it has to. Haddad’s answers to questions about Five Point projects in the Bay Area and Irvine appeared to satisfy analysts from Wells Fargo, JPMorgan and Evercore ISI, as well.
Luxor Capital Group has no relation to the similarly named resort casino in Las Vegas – although it did buy a controlling stake Ocean Resort Casino in Atlantic City last year.