Hedge Fund News: Carl Icahn, Deutsche Bank AG (DB), The Blackstone Group L.P. (BX)

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Editor’s Note: Related tickers: Nuance Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:NUAN), Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF), Deutsche Bank AG (NYSE:DB), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS), The Blackstone Group L.P. (NYSE:BX), Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), Hertz Global Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:HTZ)

Carl IcahnBillionaire Carl Icahn Increases Stake In Voice Recognition Firm Nuance After Horrible Earnings (Forbes)
Less than a month after disclosing his initial position in voice-recognition firm Nuance Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:NUAN), billionaire investor Carl Icahn disclosed he’s still buying the stock. The legendary activist now controls more than 10% of the company reportedly behind Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) +2.94%’s Siri. Shares in the company had tanked during Tuesday’s trading session after disappointing second quarter results. Icahn bought an additional 4.23 million shares, an SEC filing revealed during afterhours trading, taking his stake in Nuance Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:NUAN) from 9.3% to 10.7%. The billionaire hedge fund manager now owns nearly 34 million shares worth more than $645 million as of Tuesday’s closing price. While the timing of Icahn’s trade isn’t entirely clear, he disclosed his purchase while everyone was selling. The stock closed the trading session down 18.3% to $19.04 after reporting weak top and bottom-line numbers for the second quarter.

AIMA reviews hedge funds’ charitable performance in new paper (Opalesque)
AIMA, the global hedge fund association, has just produced the first ever global review of the hedge fund industry’s charitable and philanthropic activities. This comes at the heels of news that The Blackstone Group L.P. (NYSE:BX), one of the one of the world’s largest investment and advisory firms, had partnered with the White House to encourage private sector hiring of America’s veterans, and would hire 50,000 veterans in the next five years. AIMA’s 44-page report, Contributing to Communities, “gives a detailed picture of the global hedge fund industry’s public charitable activities, from workplace-giving schemes and industry fundraising campaigns for charity to individual examples of philanthropy.”

Deutsche Bank’s Head of Rates Sales Sana Is Said to Be Leaving (Bloomberg)
Deutsche Bank AG (NYSE:DB)’s global head of rates sales Haroon Sana is leaving the company, according to three people with knowledge of the matter. Sana will depart his London-based role at Germany’s biggest bank later this year, said two of the people, who asked not to be identified because they aren’t authorized to speak on the matter. Prior to joining Deutsche Bank AG (NYSE:DB), Sana worked for Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) and Merrill Lynch & Co., according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Paul Swaddling, head of hedge fund sales for rates, has left the company, two of the people said today. Sebastian Howell, a spokesman for Deutsche Bank AG (NYSE:DB) in London, declined to comment on Sana’s and Swaddling’s positions when reached by phone. Sana wasn’t immediately available to comment. Deutsche Bank AG (NYSE:DB) said on April 29 that pretax profit at the investment bank fell 2 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier to 1.85 billion euros ($2.4 billion). Cost reductions failed to offset a 4 percent decline in revenue to 4.6 billion euros.

Investor wants buybacks, spinoffs on Tim Hortons menu (ChicagoTribune)
Canadian coffee-and-doughnut chain Tim Hortons Inc has come under pressure from a large investor to aggressively boost returns through debt-funded share buybacks and a scaling back of U.S. expansion plans, according to documents seen by Reuters and two sources familiar with the matter. Hedge fund Highfields Capital, which owns about 1.5 percent of the company and which has a track record of bringing about change at other firms, wants Tim Hortons to borrow $3.4 billion to buy back more than one-third of its outstanding shares at $59 apiece, the documents show. Highfields’ behind-the-scenes agitation, which was previously unknown, shows how even large and relatively healthy companies are vulnerable to activist investors demanding bold strategies – and even financial engineering – to boost shareholder returns in the absence of growth.

Edoma Founding Partner Joins Soros-Linked Hedge Fund (WSJ)
One of four founding partners of now defunct hedge fund Edoma Partners is understood to be joining Indus Capital, a $4.4 billion hedge fund manager set up by former partners at Soros Fund Management, Financial News has learned. Ali Hedayat, a former proprietary trader at Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS), is joining Indus in London as a partner to launch a global special-situations fund, according to two people familiar with the situation. He is joining next week and the fund will launch in the next few months, one of the sources said. A spokesman for Indus was not immediately available for comment.

Another hedge fund manager bets against Canada’s big banks (TheGlobeAndMail)
Another investor is fessing up to shorting Canada’s big and almost universally loved banks. He’s hedge fund manager Albert Friedberg, founder of Toronto’s Friedberg Mercantile Group Ltd., who indicated in his latest quarterly report to clients that he has a short position on the banks as a kind of disaster insurance should global financial conditions worsen. There was considerable buzz this past weekend after reports in The Globe and Mail that a small San Francisco-based hedge fund, Hyphen Partners LP, has staked 95 per cent of its assets on a bet that Canada’s housing market is about to go bust and the banking sector is going to tumble.

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