Thursday 12 December 2019 8:37 pm

Soros hedge fund bets £16m against Daily Mail owner shares

The hedge fund of billionaire investor George Soros has taken out a £16m short position against media group Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT), which owns the Daily Mail.

The London arm of Soros Fund Management, SFM UK Management, made a bet worth 0.9 per cent of DMGT’s shares, showed filings published by the Financial Conduct Authority today.

Read more: Competition watchdog gives hold separate order for Daily Mail’s i takeover

The bet was first reported by Breakout Point, a data platform that tracks short positions.

Several of DMGT’s titles have been fiercely critical of Soros in the past because of his record as a supporter of liberal and progressive causes.

In recent years the philanthropist has come under particular fire from the political right wing for being an anti-Brexit donor.

Soros, who is one of the world’s richest men, gave £400,000 to pro-EU group Best for Britain.

Victor Orban, president of Soros’ native Hungary, even went as far as closing down a university part-funded by the investor.

Other firms to have taken out shorts against the media group include CZ Capital and GLG Partners.

City A.M. has contacted SFM and DMGT for comment.

This is the first time that the fund has bet against DMGT, which recently purchased the i newspaper and website for £46.9m.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said it had served an initial enforcement order while it reviews the takeover.

Read more: George Soros builds three percent stake in scandal hit asset manager

The order, also known as a hold separate arrangement, means parent company DMGT will be forced to run the i independently ahead of a potential competition probe.

It comes a week after DMGT announced its acquisition of the title from JPI Media, the private equity-backed media group formed after Johnston Press collapsed into administration last year.