Harbinger Group (formerly Zapata Corporation) zapped its former image as an oil and gas company and is on the lookout for new acquisitions. The holding company has some $400 million to make investments across a diverse array of industries. Former US President George H. W. Bush co-founded the company as Zapata in 1953. It sold its energy businesses in the 1990s and became a producer of marine protein through its holdings in Omega Protein. Omega's facilities suffered major hurricane damage in 2005, and Zapata sold Omega the next year. Hedge fund Harbinger Capital Partners bought a controlling stake in Harbinger Group in 2009.
In early 2011, Harbinger Group acquired a majority of consumer goods firm Spectrum Brands. Shortly afterwards it acquired Old Mutual U.S. Life Holdings from Old Mutual for $350 million. The life insurance units were rebranded as Fidelity & Guaranty Life Insurance Company and Fidelity & Guaranty Life Insurance Company of New York. Harbinger Group then acquired a minority stake in North American Energy Partners, which primarily provides construction and pipeline services to the Canadian oil sands market. The deals are part of Harbinger's strategy is to acquire operating businesses across a range of industries such as consumer products, insurance and financial products, telecommunications, agriculture, power generation, and water and natural resources.
Harbinger Group also owns almost all of Zap.Com Corporation; however, it is a public shell company with no business operations. Zap.Com is seeking investments or it may develop a new business so that it can become an operating company.