Golfer’s hedge fund bids on Nabi tablet maker

Fuhu Chief Executive Jim Mitchell holds a Nabi tablet.

Fuhu Chief Executive Jim Mitchell holds a Nabi tablet.

(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

The bidding war for Fuhu, the maker of children’s tablets that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in early December, has begun.

The hedge fund founded by Australian golfer Greg Norman, Great White Shark Opportunity Fund LP, made a $10-million bid for the El Segundo manufacturer of the popular Nabi tablet on Wednesday.

The offer tops a $9.5-million bid from Mattel. Mattel did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Norman’s fund has agreed to finance Fuhu’s bankruptcy financing package.

Any deals are subject to court approval, and an auction will be held Jan. 20.


In its bankruptcy filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware, the company said it had been crippled by a financial dispute with Foxconn, the Taiwan-based contract manufacturer famous for supplying Apple’s iPhone.

According to court documents, trouble began about a year ago when Foxconn’s “mishandling” of tablets destined for Christmas shoppers caused them to come in late, causing a ripple effect that hit the company hard.

The company had been a leader among kids’ tablet manufacturers, generating nearly $200 million in sales in 2013, according to court papers. The company has sold more than 4 million tablets since its founding in 2008 and employs 115 people.

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