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Hedge Fund News: Michael Karsch, Paul Singer, Bill Ackman

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Veteran Stock Picker Michael Karsch Plans to Launch Hedge Fund (Wall Street Journal)
Veteran stock picker Michael Karsch said he is planning to launch a hedge-fund firm this year. The hedge-fund manager closed down his $1.8 billion Karsch Capital Management in late 2013, telling investors at the time he wanted to “take a step back, reflect on my experiences and begin to think about the next chapter of my career.” After helping build out a cold-pressed juice business and consulting for billionaire investor Stanley Druckenmiller during his time away, that next chapter, it turns out, is starting another hedge fund.

Michael Karsch

Elliott Builds Holding in German Toolmaker DMG Mori Seiki (Bloomberg)
Elliott Management, the hedge fund run by billionaire Paul Singer, has built up a stake in DMG Mori Seiki AG, the German machine-tool maker that has attracted a takeover offer from its Japanese partner. DMG Mori Seiki is examining a notification from Elliott saying it has bought a stake in the Bielefeld, Germany-based company, spokeswoman Tanja Figge said by telephone. She declined to say how large the holding is.

Ackman Poised to Win Zoetis Board Seats (Reuters)
Hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management is pressing for seats on animal health company Zoetis Inc’s board of directors, with an eye to pushing through cost cuts and a possible merger, according to sources familiar with the negotiations. Pershing Square, the $18 billion fund run by activist billionaire William Ackman, became the biggest shareholder in Zoetis last year, spending about $1.54 billion for an 8.5 percent stake, and has been holding behind-the-scenes talks over the makeup of the board ahead of a Feb. 12 deadline for nominations.

As Oil Prices Crater, Hedge Funds Dive In (CNBC)
As oil prices round out a month of trading in the $40 range, hedge funds in both the U.S. and abroad are grabbing at investment opportunities in a distressed energy sector. In recent months, a spate of money managers, including Lansdowne Partners, Avenue Capital, Carlson Capital and Blackstone’s GSO Capital unit, have been raising fresh capital to deploy in either long-short energy stock picking, credit investing, or both. At the same time, hedge-fund investors say that finding ways to home in on the distressed oil industry has been a top priority of late.

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