Shopping for convertibles

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They're on sale now, much to the chagrin of many seasoned convert players

By Irwin Speizer

#David Sackler hadn't planned on convertible bonds as a major part of his strategy at Moab Partners, a $100 million merger arb firm in New York. But opportunity knocked this fall after a trifecta of troubles hit convertible bonds: a surprise short-sale ban on financial stocks, steep margin calls, and redemptions. Bond prices collapsed under the strain, leaving major convertible players, including Citadel Investment Group, Whitebox Advisors, Highbridge Capital Management and Basso Capital, scrambling. Whitebox,