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Why this former Kingsford analyst is launching an activist short fund

rendering of Chris Drose '16
Chris Drose '16. Illustration courtesy of Institutional Investor.

Known for calling out American Addiction Centers for widespread negligence, Chris Drose, a 2016 Furman University alumnus, is in the news again. The English major and former analyst at short-biased hedge fund Kingsford Capital is launching a new activist short fund – Bleecker Street Capital – according to an article in Institutional Investor.

The name is a nod to Drose’s blog, Bleecker Street Research, where he broke a story in 2014 about questionable practices at AAC – a story that led to second-degree murder charges against parent company American Addiction Centers Holdings, Inc. The charges were later dropped, but the company suffered a 54% blow to its stock price, reducing its market capitalization by $387 million – a boon to short sellers who betted against the company.

Drose says the timing is right for his new fund. “This year has been a fantastic year for activist short selling … There are always things that are working,” said Drose, citing solid performance of many activist shorts plays this year, namely among electric vehicle companies and special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs).

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