George Soros gambles on Comverse

American investor George Soros has purchased 5.1 percent of Comverse’s shares over the past few days, in a reported $80 million gamble on the company. He is now an interested shareholder. Soros made the purchase through his family investment fund, …

American investor George Soros has purchased 5.1 percent of Comverse’s shares over the past few days, in a reported $80 million gamble on the company. He is now an interested shareholder.

Soros made the purchase through his family investment fund, Soros Fund Management. The fund also owns shares of the Chinese Internet company Alibaba, Bank of America, Pfizer, Ford, CitiBank, seed company Monsanto, Brazilian gas giant Petrobras and AT&T.

Soros bought 10.4 million shares of Comverse. The precise date of purchase wasn’t made public, but the shares are currently worth $7.55 each at Comverse’s closing price yesterday.

Comverse’s shares are being sold over the counter, as opposed to on the regular market. This situation has obtained ever since a backdating scandal that came to light in 2006, and the company hasn’t published full financial statements since then. It is expected to do so only in August.

Yesterday, Comverse filed a request with the SEC to sell 10% of the 28 million shares it holds in Verint Systems. Even after a sale, Comverse will remain Verint’s controlling shareholder, with a stake of around 60%.