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Net Net: Promoting innovation and managing change

Fightin' Phil: Falcone's back, and doing a deal

Phil Falcone.
Amanda Gordon | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Don't count out hedge fund magnate Philip Falcone yet.

The head of Harbinger Group had a pretty miserable 2013 that culminated with him agreeing to an $18 million settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission—an agreement under which Falcone wouldn't be allowed in the securities industry for five years.

However, that settlement didn't include Harbinger Group, which is a holding company. Falcone had headed Harbinger Capital, which once managed $26 billion but fell on hard times amid investor withdrawals and regulatory scrutiny focusing on a $113 million personal loan Falcone took from one of his hedge funds to pay personal taxes.

Now comes news that Harbinger will be acquiring Central Garden and Pet in a deal estimated at $505 million, according to a report Monday in the Wall Street Journal, though other reports put the price tag lower. (FactSet said the number would be closer to $488 million). Including debt assumption, the price tag balloons to $1.1 billion.