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Hedge Fund News: Edward Lampert, Carl Icahn, D.E. Shaw

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Edward Lampert and His White Whale, Sears (The New York Times)
A tragic figure in American literature has an analog in modern finance. Once upon a time, the billionaire investor Edward S. Lampert was hailed as the next Warren E. Buffett. These days, his decade-plus obsession with the struggling retailer Sears resembles Captain Ahab’s with Moby-Dick. Mr. Lampert was a hedge fund star when he took the discount store Kmart out of bankruptcy in 2003 and merged it with Sears two years later. A devotee of Ayn Rand and Mr. Buffett, Mr. Lampert had parlayed $28 million of seed corn into a spot on the Forbes rich list by making savvy bets on undervalued companies.

ESL INVESTMENTS

Dealpolitik: Carl Icahn’s Apparent 360 on Herbalife Could Have Used More Transparency (The Wall Street Journal)
Last week, Carl Icahn had the market guessing about his intentions toward ownership of Herbalife shares. The latest surprising twist in a saga that’s been full of them came when The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that he had been exploring a sale of his stake. When the stock fell sharply Friday as a result, Mr. Icahn took advantage of the dip to substantially increase his holdings. The Securities and Exchange Commission requires shareholders who, like Mr. Icahn in this case, own more than 5% of a company, to be transparent about their plans, so it all raises the question: Should Mr. Icahn have issued some disclosure before he traded?

D.E. Shaw Set To Enter Race For SunEdison’s TerraForm Power: Sources (Reuters)
Hedge fund manager D.E. Shaw & Co LP is weighing a bid for SunEdison Inc’s (SUNEQ.PK) controlling stake in TerraForm Power Inc (TERP.O), the bankrupt U.S. renewable energy producer’s most valuable asset, according to people familiar with the matter. D.E. Shaw’s emergence as a possible bidder for TerraForm Power indicates that the potential sale process for the so-called “Class B” shares of TerraForm Power, which was formed by SunEdison to buy and operate its solar and wind power plants, is likely to be competitive. Another hedge fund, Appaloosa Management LP, and asset manager Brookfield Asset Management Inc (BAMa.TO), have already announced plans to jointly bid on SunEdison’s TerraForm Power Class B shares.

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