Sears Mulls Sale of Canadian Business After Years of Losses (BusinessWeek)
Sears Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ:SHLD), the department-store chain struggling to rebound from three years of operating losses, is considering a sale of its Canadian stores. The company may divest its 51 percent stake in Sears Canada, possibly as part of a sale of the whole business, according to a statement today. Sears, run by hedge-fund manager Eddie Lampert, will hire an investment bank to study options for the division, which has a market value of about $1.5 billion. The move would mark the latest effort to shrink a company that was once the largest retailer in the U.S. Lampert, Sears’s chairman, chief executive officer and largest shareholder,…
Shale boom sends U.S. crude production to 28-year high (FuelFix)
U.S. crude production climbed to a 28-year high last week as the shale boom moved the world’s biggest oil-consuming country closer to energy independence. Output rose 78,000 barrels a day to 8.428 million, the most since October 1986, according to Energy Information Administration data… “This is an incredible phenomena that looks set to continue,” John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital LLC, a New York-based hedge fund that focuses on energy, said by phone. “There’s a long way to go before we explore and exploit all of the shale deposits out there.”
Blue Harbour’s $125.5M Chico’s Stake Buy Gets FTC’s Nod (Law360)
The Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday gave the go-ahead for activist hedge fund Blue Harbour Group LP to complete its $125.5 million stake increase in retailer Chico’s FAS, Inc.(NYSE:CHS) after determining that the deal posed no regulatory issues. Blue Harbour first announced its intention to increase its stake in the sputtering retailer in September 2013, hinting in a securities filing that it could leverage its $125.5 million investment to press company leadership for change. On Tuesday, the FTC announced it had granted early termination to the…
Even Steve Cohen Has To Show His Tickets To Get Into Christie’s For An Art Auction (BusinessInsider)
Billionaire hedge fund manger Steve Cohen was spotted at Christie’s on Tuesday evening at a post-war contemporary art auction. A spy saw Cohen wearing a plain black jacket, slacks and thick sole lace-ups near the main entrance. Cohen was also seen fumbling for his tickets. Our spy thought Christie’s should have just recognized him and let him in. “They were stalling him for tickets. Idiots, when someone pushes hundreds of millions worth of art business through their auctioneer block they should have an effing portrait of him in the ‘Hall of Honor’ and know him by a face,” the spy tells us.
Chicago hedge fund takes stake in Hillshire (ChicagoTribune)
Chicago hedge fund Citadel Advisors has taken a stake of roughly 5 percent in Hillshire Brands Co., making it one of the company’s top shareholders. The investment comes days after the Chicago-based maker of Jimmy Dean sausages and Ball Park Franks announced plans for a big acquisition. On Monday, Hillshire said that it plans to buy food maker Pinnacle Foods Inc (NYSE:PF) for about $4.3 billion in cash and stock, plus the assumption of debt. The move came as Hillshire tries to grow as a standalone food company after Sara Lee split to form two publicly-traded companies in June 2012.
Hedge-Fund Heavy Bets on More Volatility Ahead (WSJ)
Spooked by the bumpy trading environment that has had some hedge funds seeing red? Get ready for more, says one wealthy investor. John Bader, chairman and chief investment officer of Halcyon Asset Management LLC, said he sees the Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index, known as the market’s fear gauge, moving higher in the weeks to come as geopolitical concerns spook traders. The VIX is currently trading near a 2014 low of about 12, and well under its long-term average of closer to 20.