Billionaire Paulson Hit by 2014 Losses; Advantage Plus Fund Declines 36% (Bloomberg)
Billionaire John Paulson posted the second-worst trading year of his career in 2014 as a wrong-way energy bet added to declines tied to a failed merger and investments in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The worst performance was in the Advantage Plus fund, which plummeted 36 percent last year, two people with knowledge of the returns said.The event-driven strategy, which uses leverage to make bets on companies undergoing transformations such as spinoffs and bankruptcies, lost 3.1 percent in December, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. The 59-year-old manager also lost money in a credit pool and special situations fund. He barely broke even in a fund that bets on company mergers, a strategy that comprises about half of the firm’s assets.
Ackman Makes Good on $10M Charity Promise (CNBC)
Bill Ackman is putting his money where his mouth is. Roughly two years after promising to donate his personal winnings from his controversial $1 billion bet against nutritional and weight-loss company Herbalife, the hedge fund titan is making good on the pledge with a $10 million donation to a scholarship charity, his foundation said. Ackman’s Pershing Square Foundation on Friday announced that TheDream.US, which helps immigrant youths pay for college, will receive the money over three years.
Hedge Fund Mason Capital Ends 2014 Down 12 Percent (Reuters)
Hedge fund Mason Capital lost 12 percent in 2014, making for one of the industry’s biggest declines, after the New York-based firm was hit by a failed merger of pharmaceuticals companies Shire and AbbVie, a person familiar with the firm said in Monday. The $9 billion hedge fund, which manages money for state pension funds and other wealthy investors, sold depressed Shire shares after the two companies called off their planned deal in October, the source said. The shares later rebounded. Mason ended October down 7 percent. In November, when many hedge funds recovered, it was nearly flat, gaining just 0.03 percent as a number of energy stocks in its portfolio were hit by falling oil prices.
D.E. Shaw Acquires 300-Megawatt Wind Farm From Apex Clean Energy (Bloomberg)
D.E. Shaw & Co., a $34 billion hedge fund, purchased a 300-megawatt wind farm from Apex Clean Energy Inc. for an undisclosed sum. The Balko wind farm in Beaver County, Oklahoma, is expected to begin producing power later this year, New York-based D.E. Shaw said today in a statement. Apex began developing the project in 2009. The Public Service Company of Oklahoma and Western Farmers Electric Cooperative have agreed to buy power from the Balko wind farm under long-term contracts. The project is using 162 1.85-megawatt General Electric Co. turbines and will produce enough electricity for about 111,000 homes.