Marcato Reveals an Activist Stake in Life Time Fitness (InstitutionalInvestorsAlpha)
At the end of the first quarter, Richard McGuire III’s Marcato Capital Management teased investors that among its new positions were two undisclosed stocks that the firm hinted are likely to result in activist campaigns. On Wednesday afternoon investors learned the identity of one of the two stocks. Marcato disclosed it owns 7.2 percent of Life Time Fitness, the high-end — read, expensive — health club and gym chain. Shares of the stock immediately surged more than 12 percent in the final hour of trading after Marcato disclosed the holding and rose another 2 percent or so Thursday morning.
Massa Martana to host Umbria Rock Festival (FT)
To most millionaires, a rock festival arriving on the doorstep of their Umbrian holiday villa would be the stuff of summer nightmares. Not so, though, for Yashwant Bajaj, a former managing director of Lehman Brothers and founder of Singapore-based hedge fund Juggernaut Capital Management. He is the festival organiser. Bajaj, 51, is taking a sabbatical while overseeing preparations for the event at Massa Martana, an ancient walled town in the Martani hills. The August festival will take place on open farmland behind the eighth-century Santa Maria Church, close to Bajaj’s luxury villa. Among the acts confirmed are Paul Weller, Kaiser Chiefs and indie band James. Bajaj hopes to sell 10,000 tickets for the inaugural event, costing up to €300 for a three-day pass.
The Amazon of India is not Flipkart—it’s Amazon (QZ)
One of the worst-kept secrets in India’s e-commerce industry was finally outed yesterday as Flipkart, a broad-based e-commerce firm in India, said it was buying fashion e-tailer Myntra in an all-stock deal reportedly valued at about $330 million. Given that media had published nearly every detail involved for the last few weeks—the New York hedge fund manager backing the deal, the law firms involved and the price and other details—the announcement itself didn’t surprise anyone. Yet I was taken aback at the number of pundits who spoke of the deal as a watershed moment in Indian e-commerce, how India is at some apparent consolidation phase in e-tail, how this portends better things to come, an inspiration to entrepreneurs for great exits, a great combination to fight Amazon in India and so on. The spin doctors are working overtime.
Uber now seeking $12 billion valuation, says report (BizJournals)
Uber Inc. is now reported to be seeking $500 million in an investment that would value the company at more than $12 billion. The Wall Street Journal reports the company is talking with possible investors including hedge funds, mutual fund BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE:BLK), and private-equity firms General Atlantic and Technology Crossover Ventures. The ride-sharing company is working to complete the deal within the next few weeks, the report said. Uber last week was reported to be seeking a funding round that would value it above $10 billion.
Former Boardmembers Charged With Insider Trading Ahead Of Sale To The Carlyle Group (HedgeCo)
The SEC has charged a former director of a Long Island-based company and others in his family circle with insider trading ahead of the company’s sale to a private equity firm. The SEC alleges that board member Glenn Cohen learned that NBTY, Inc. (NYSE:NTY) was negotiating a sale to $100 billion global hedge fund manager The Carlyle Group and tipped his three brothers and a brother’s girlfriend with the confidential information. Craig Cohen, Marc Cohen, Steven Cohen, and Laurie Topal all traded on the inside information that Glenn Cohen provided and reaped illicit profits totaling $175,000.
CalSTRS’ First Seed Is Activist Legion Partners (Finalternatives)
One of the largest public pension funds in the U.S. has made a statement with its first seed investment. The California State Teachers’ Retirement System will invest $200 million in two-year-old Legion Partners Asset Management. The $184 billion pension also took a 30% stake in the activist hedge fund, Bloomberg News reports. Hedge fund activists have faced increasing scrutiny recently. But CalSTRS is no stranger to the field, having some $4.6 billion invested with such hedge funds.
Weiss bought Ocwen Financial (CNBC)