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Highland hedge fund takes company to court

Highland Capital Management, the $20 billion hedge fund manager, has taken a company it invests in to court, it has been announced.

Highland filed a complaint at a Delaware court against Motient Corporation, a wireless data equipment maker, under the Delaware general corporation law.

Highland alleges that the company expressly refused to comply with Highland's request for information about the dealings and financial performance of the company, information that Highland claims it has a right to as the largest shareholder in the company, owning approximately 14 per cent of its common stock.

A spokesman for Highland said that investors had a right to know what was going on at the company.

"Stockholders, regardless of the size of their investment, have the right to know what is going on at the company they own," he said.

"We believe Motient is suffering from poor operating performance, conceded financial reporting deficiencies, recurring execution and management oversight problems, and extensive board and management self-dealing and conflicts of interest," he added.

The complaint comes as the latest episode in a rocky relationship between Motient and its single largest investor.

Highland's move is indicative of the growing interest that hedge funds are taking in the operations of the companies they invest in, as they rely heavily on company performance to bring large returns.