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Hedge Fund News: Jeffrey Smith, Bank of America Corp (BAC), Herbalife Ltd. (HLF)

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Editor’s Note: Related tickers: Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC), Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF), Smithfield Foods, Inc. (NYSE:SFD), The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:HAIN), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP), ClickSoftware Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ:CKSW), Partner Communications Company Ltd (ADR) (NASDAQ:PTNR), Icahn Enterprises LP (NASDAQ:IEP)

Starboard lines up rival buyers for Smithfield Foods (InstitutionalInvestorsAlpha)
It is one thing for an activist investor to oppose a merger deal and push for another bidder and a higher price. It is more unusual for an activist to actually go out and find a better competing deal. But this is exactly what Jeffrey Smith — a co-founder and the chief executive and chief investment officer of New York activist hedge fund firm Starboard Value — has apparently done. On May 29 the food processing company Smithfield Foods, Inc. (NYSE:SFD) agreed to be acquired by Hong Kong–based holding company Shuanghui International Holdings for $34 a share. In typical activist manner, Starboard fired off a letter to Smithfield’s board of directors urging the company to seek a higher price.

Jeff Smith

Meet The Man Who Is Now The Largest Individual Shareholder Of Herbalife (BusinessInsider)
William Stiritz is now the largest individual shareholder in Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF). The 77-year-old investor disclosed in a 13G regulatory filing with the SEC today that he personally owns 5,382,362 shares, or a 5.22% stake, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The second biggest individual shareholder is Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF)’s CEO, Michael Johnson. Johnson owns over a million shares. Stiritz’s Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) stake is worth about $322 million or so. That a huge stake for an individual.

BofA Hedge Fund Suit Against Bear Stearns Dismissed (Law360)
A New York federal judge dismissed a lawsuit accusing two former Bear Stearns Cos. hedge fund managers of deceiving Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) into entering into a costly, failed transaction, ruling Tuesday that the bank couldn’t prove proximate cause due to inadmissible expert testimony. U.S. District Judge Alison J. Nathan decided that financial economist Dr. Mukesh Bajaj’s testimony, upon which Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) relied to prove its fraud and breach of fiduciary claims, couldn’t be admitted because his methodology was unreliable. She held that Bajaj, who…

Expert networks: thriving in Asia, away from U.S. scrutiny (Reuters)
Expert networks – a matchmaking service that connects investors with industry experts – are under scrutiny from regulators in the United States, but are expanding across Asia where the market for corporate intelligence is less transparent. The industry’s reputation took a hit in the United States, after the Securities and Exchange Commission charged more than three dozen people and firms as part of a broad investigation into ties between investors and expert networks. The cases uncovered examples of insider trading and helped trigger the high-profile fall of Raj Rajaratnam’s Galleon hedge fund.

Why hedge? How hedge funds reduce risk, Correlations not as strong: An opportunity for funds (Opalesque)
Permal Group Chairman and CEO, Isaac Souede, is at the forefront of the hedge fund industry, with 30 years of experience in managing investments in one of the industry’s leading hedge fund groups. Today, the Permal Group manages $25 billion and through nine offices across the globe. In a talk delivered at CKGSB’s Beijing campus, Souede discussed the growth of the hedge fund industry, how the industry and different hedge fund products operate, and what it takes to be a successful hedge fund manager.

Icahn cutting stake in Hain Celestial by half through stock sale (Reuters)
Activist investor Carl Icahn and his entities are cutting their stake in The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:HAIN) by roughly half, Hain said on Tuesday. Hain Celestial Group said certain shareholders, including entities related to Icahn, will sell 3.65 million shares of common stock in the company, with Jefferies LLC serving as the underwriter in the sale’s public offering. Following the sale, Icahn and his related entities will collectively own roughly 3.59 million shares in Hain, or 7.5 percent of the company, Hain said.

Marc Faber: Why a correction is coming soon (CNBC)

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