Cayman Islands Grand Court Rules that Investor in Hedge Fund Wyser-Pratte EuroValue Fund Is Entitled to Court-Imposed Liquidation of Fund, Even Though Fund Is Solvent, but Gives Fund Time to Complete Liquidation On Its Own

In another case that has its roots in the market meltdown and liquidity crisis of 2008, the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands has ruled that, in principle, an investor in hedge fund Wyser-Pratte EuroValue Fund Ltd. (Fund) is entitled to judicial liquidation of the Fund.  However, because the Fund had already substantially completed the liquidation process by the time of the hearing of the liquidation petition, the Court declined to issue an immediate order appointing liquidators.  Petitioner, Fund investor AIFAM Event Driven Fund Trust (Investor), sought to redeem all its Fund shares, effective June 20, 2008.  In response to numerous redemption requests, the Fund imposed a gate on redemptions, limiting them to 10% of net asset value.  In September 2008, the Fund froze redemptions entirely.  The freeze remained in effect indefinitely.  In March 2010, the Fund proposed to liquidate over a two-year period.  Dissatisfied with that plan, the Investor filed a petition for court-supervised liquidation of the Fund.  Unbeknownst to the Investor, the Fund had already adopted a revised plan that would have substantially concluded the liquidation by the end of 2010 and, significantly, provided that the Fund manager would not be paid management fees after 2010.  The Grand Court agreed with the Investor’s argument that, under the circumstances, it was entitled to a court-appointed liquidator.  However, by the time of the hearing of the Investor’s petition, the Fund had already completed a substantial portion of its liquidation, and was poised to complete the liquidation within a few weeks.  As a result, the Grand Court decided not to appoint a liquidator to give the Fund time to make good on its promises.  We summarize the facts of the case and the Grand Court’s reasoning.  See also “Protection Against Court Winding Up of Cayman Islands Hedge Funds in Management Wind Down,” above, in this issue of the Hedge Fund Law Report.

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