WIDAT Group has announced its intent to launch a hedge fund, which will start investing January 1, 2006. According to WIDAT founder, Christopher Mantle, this will be a pure equity vehicle that invests in the publicly traded securities of wireless companies. In the planning stage is a second fund directed to venture capital and private equity participants investing primarily in private companies in the sector; and finally an investment vehicle will be created to focus on acquiring licenses at FCC broadband wireless spectrum auctions, particularly in segments available for designated entities.
GGCP, Inc. is one of the founding and initial investor in the hedge fund to be managed by Mr. Mantle.
“We have built a reputation over the years as experts in the wireless market and have created a watch list of several hundred companies with a significant stake in the market,” Mr. Mantle said. “With the support of many of our existing research clients, such as Gabelli, we hope to translate that expertise into efficient investment vehicles,” he added.
Mr. Mantle has sixteen years experience in the wireless technology sector and will manage the new funds. He said that WIDAT, a registered investment advisor, uses a quantitative model to rank and score stocks on its 150-plus wireless stock watch list. “When a stock begins selling above or below our valuation, we take the appropriate action,” he said. “We also scrutinize cash flows, capital structure and valuations, as well as identifying companies that are driving the trends in wireless growth,” he added.
Founded in June 2003, WIDAT was the first research firm to focus exclusively on wireless data trends. It concentrates principally on three technologies central to growth: 3G cellular installations, WiFi installations such as HotSpot offerings, and emerging technologies such as WiMAX.
Mr. Mantle, formerly with GAMCO Investors, Inc. (NYSE:GBL) – (previously Gabelli Asset Management, Inc.) – described the WIDAT investment philosophy as being “one part Gabelli, one part Peter Lynch, one part Graham and Dodd and one part Chris Mantle.