Hedge Fund News: Crispin Odey, Peter Kolchinsky & T Boone Pickens

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Manchester United Divides Hedge Funds’ Loyalties (WSJ)
Some of Europe’s most powerful hedge fund managers are sharply divided on the outlook for English soccer club Manchester United PLC (NYSE:MANU) -0.17%, whose share price has declined recently along with its on-field performance. One of the most prominent to hold a negative bet is U.K.-based Odey Asset Management, which is headed by investor Crispin Odey and runs around $12.2 billion. It has been betting on the share price’s falling since shortly after the initial public offering of Manchester United in 2012 and says the shares are overvalued.

Crispin Odey

Farmers Sue Hedge Fund Over Guar (Finalternatives)
A group of Texas farmers has sued a New York hedge fund, accusing it of defrauding them. The guar growers filed five countersuits against Scopia Capital Management, alleging that the hedge fund and West Texas Guar conspired to not pay the 285 farmers for their crop last year. Scopia is West Texas Guar’s top shareholder, and alleges that the company failed to repay a $6 million loan made in 2012. West Texas Guar has since filed for bankruptcy. A federal bankruptcy judge in May approved a settlement granting the farmers 75% of their claims.

BlackRock Hedge Selector Reports Net Asset Value Per Share Drop (ISE)
BlackRock Hedge Selector Ltd Thursday said its UK Emerging Companies Share Class net asset value fell by 7.7% over the six months to end-June, including all ongoing expenses with ongoing charges of approximately 0.8% per year, reflecting the underlying performance of the UK Emerging Companies Hedge Fund, which fell by 7.3%. The company’s share price fell by 5.4% over the same period. The FTSE 100 Index, meanwhile, rose by 1.9% over the period, the FTSE Small Cap Index increased by 1.5% and the FTSE All-Share Index by 1.6%. In contrast, the Numis Smaller Companies plus AIM (excluding investment companies) Index fell by 0.8% and the FTSE 250 Index remained flat, the company said.

Hedge funds buying Yahoo stocks ahead of Alibaba IPO (Opalesque)
Several hedge funds are buying large shares of Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) ahead of the planned initial public offering (IPO) of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba. Ken Sawyer, managing director of Saints Capital, said that Yahoo, which owns 23% of Alibaba and is a public investor of the Chinese website, has placed a discount on whether a holding company is worth the sum of the value of its parts. Sawyer was quoted by USA Today as saying, “Some guys think there might be 15% or 20% in Yahoo, if Alibaba’s investment bankers can sell the offering at the top of its range or — as Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)‘s did — even higher. It’s an (arbitrage) play between public and private markets.”

Achillion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (ACHN): RA Capital Management Cuts Stake To 19.0% From 21.1% (InsiderMonkey)
RA Capital Management, led by Peter Kolchinsky, disclosed in a newly amended filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it further reduced its exposure to Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ACHN). The filling showed that the hedge fund unloaded around 2.71 million shares of Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ACHN). Following the sale, RA Capital owns 18.54 million shares of the company, the stake being equal to 19.0% of common stock outstanding.

Hedge Fund To Add Member To American Apparel Board (Finalternatives)
Lion Capital Management may not be an investor in American Apparel Inc (NYSEMKT:APP) anymore, but it still wants a seat on its board. The hedge fund, which pushed the struggling retailer into a cash crunch last month when it called in a $10 million loan, still owns warrants to take a 12% stake in the company—and the right to appoint two board members. And it told the firm that it plans to appoint former Rupari Food Services CEO Robert Mintz to join the seven other directors of the newly-reconstituted board.

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