Hedge Fund Highlights: Carl Icahn, Paul Singer & Philip Falcone

U.S. would face hurdles bringing case against Icahn, Mickelson: lawyers (Reuters)
Questions about how to apply securities law to activist investors could complicate any potential insider trading case against billionaire Carl Icahn, pro-golfer Phil Mickelson and Las Vegas gambler William Walters, legal experts said. U.S. federal investigators are looking into whether Mickelson and Walters may have traded illegally on private information provided by hedge fund manager Icahn, a source familiar with the matter said on Friday. None of the three men has been accused of any wrongdoing, the source said.

Carl Icahn as viking

Argentina Leaves Singer for Last in Preparing Bond Market Return (Bloomberg)
Accords with the World Bank, Repsol SA and now the Paris Club have put Argentina on the cusp of returning to international bond markets. The country has left the toughest deal for last. After a 20-hour meeting with officials from the Paris-based group of creditor nations, which kept President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner awake until 2 a.m., Argentina said yesterday that it agreed to pay $9.7 billion over five years to settle claims stretching back to the government’s record $95 billion default in 2001. South America’s second-biggest economy hasn’t issued bonds in international markets since it stopped payments. Solving the remaining dispute with holdout creditors including billionaire Paul Singer’s Elliott Management Corp. is becoming more urgent with foreign-exchange reserves stuck near an eight-year low.

After Fighting Insider Trading Charges for 10 Years, a Fund Manager Is Cleared (New York Times)
Standing outside a Manhattan federal court on Friday, Nelson Obus put on his victory tie. A jury of five men and five women had just cleared him of insider trading accusations, which Mr. Obus, a 67-year-old hedge fund manager, had spent more than 10 years and $9 million battling in court. The bright red tie, he had told his lawyers earlier in the day, was for his “win.” The outspoken Mr. Obus, who earlier in the day wore striped socks, a light gray suit and a dark blue tie with pictures of constellations, breathed a loud sigh of relief as the decision was read. His wife, Eve Coulson, sat stone-faced behind him.

Falcone’s Harbinger Seeks Government Action on LightSquared (Wall Street Journal)
Hedge-fund manager Philip Falcone is taking aim at the federal government over its refusal to authorize LightSquared to launch a wireless network. In a letter addressed to the Federal Communications Commission, lawyers for Mr. Falcone’s Harbinger Capital Partners LLC hedge fund complained that the “billions of dollars” it sunk into LightSquared has been for naught after regulators ordered an “indefinite halt” to further development of LightSquared’s network.

Valeant boosts $53.8 billion Allergan bid as Ackman opts for stock (Reuters)
Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX) said on Friday it would boost its takeover bid for Botox-maker Allergan, Inc. (NYSE:AGN) for the second time this week, contingent on the two sides negotiating. Laval, Quebec-based Valeant said it would pay $72 in cash – up from $58.30 on Wednesday – and 0.83 share of Valeant stock for each Allergan share. The revised, unsolicited offer was triggered by Pershing Square, the hedge fund controlled by Bill Ackman that is Allergan’s biggest shareholder, agreeing to take only stock in Valeant for its Allergan shares. The offer is worth $53.8 billion, up from Wednesday’s $49.9 billion bid.

PE deals in Asia off to a strong start: Bain & Co (CNBC.com)


Fourth defendant indicted in Carter’s Inc. trading conspiracy (Atlanta Business Chronicle)
Steven E. Slawson was indicted by a federal grand jury for participating in a long-running insider trading conspiracy involving Atlanta-based Carter’s, Inc. (NYSE:CRI) stock. According to U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates, the charges, and other information presented in court: Slawson, 67, of Lebanon, N.J., was the co-founder of Titan Capital Management LLC, a hedge fund manager in Parsippany, N.J. At Titan, Slawson co-managed a multimillion dollar portfolio of the securities of publicly-traded companies.

Without Ballmer, goal remains the same for Chris Hansen (KGMI)
San Francisco hedge fund manager Chris Hansen is still committed to returning the NBA to Seattle. Just a day after his top financial partner entered into a deal to buy the L.A. Clippers, the Seattle Arena investor released a statement congratulating Steve Ballmer on his bid and reassured Emerald City hoop fans that the goal remains the same.

Activist Fund Blue Harbour Sells Minority Stake to Neuberger Berman Fund (Wall Street Journal)
Activist investor Blue Harbour Group LP sold a roughly 20% stake to investment manager Neuberger Berman Group LLC, according to a letter sent to Blue Harbour investors Thursday and people familiar with the matter. Blue Harbour CEO Clifton S. Robbins, who labels himself as a friendly activist and says he won’t fight the public campaigns many activists are known for, told his investors in the letter that Neuberger’s presence would help with boards and management.

Huttenlocher’s Myriad Hedge Fund Said to Approach $3 Billion (Bloomberg)
Myriad Asset Management Ltd., the hedge fund led by former Highbridge Capital Management LLC Asia head Carl Huttenlocher, is approaching $3 billion of assets, said three people with knowledge of the matter. Assets jumped from almost $2.4 billion early this year after Myriad accepted more capital from investors, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Huttenlocher said in November 2011 that he planned to stop taking more investor capital when his fund assets hit $2 billion.

KKR closes equity hedge fund (Opalesque)
Global investment firm KKR & Co. L.P. (NYSE:KKR) or Kohlberg Kravis Roberts said it would shut down its hedge fund that invests in stocks after making waves in 2010 when the firm poached a team of proprietary traders from investment bank Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS), various media reported. The New York Times said KKR’s hedge fund division, KES, has divested its positions and would return investors money in the coming days. The proprietary team, led by Robert Howard, failed to achieve the goal set by KKR. KES managed $510m in assets as of May, with around $337m from outside investors.

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