John Murphy’s Alydar Capital Buys Medifast, Sodastream, and Knology

Boston-based Alydar Capital is a long-short hedge fund managing more than $2 Billion. The fund was founded by John A. Murphy in 2003. Previously John Murphy worked under Lawrence Greenberg at Mt. Everest Fund, which was liquidated in 2002. Greenberg was formerly a fund manager at Fidelity.

Alydar Capital has initiated a new position in Medifast Inc (MED). Alydar disclosed a 5.44 % stake in MED. Alydar built a 840 k share position. At the end of December the stock traded at $28.88. Alydar paid around $17 for Medifast. Patrick McCormack’s Tiger Consumer had 756 k shares in MED at the end of December. Lee Hobson’s Highside also had a 750 k share position. Roberto Mignone’s Bridger also had nearly 500 k share position. Finally Geoffrey McCuskey’s Riverside Advisors owned nearly 2% of Medifast’s outstanding shares. In total, these five hedge funds owned 20% of Medifast.

John Murphy also increased its stake in Sodastream (SODA) to 1.06 million shares from 723 k shares at the end of December. Sodastream manufactures home water carbonation systems that convert tap water into carbonated water. The stock returned almost 40% so far in 2011. Alydar paid around $45 for the additional shares it purchased. SODA trades at $42 today. Roberto Mignone’e Bridger, Mark Broach’s Manatuck Hill Partners, and Robert Jaffe’s Force Capital owned around 1% of SODA’s outstanding shares each.

FARALLON CAPITAL

Last week, Alydar disclosed a 1.86 million position in Knology (KNOL) but this wasn’t really a surprise. At the end of December John Murphy’s Alydar had 1.85 million shares of KNOL in its portfolio. Tom Steyer’s Farallon had nearly 3.6 million shares of KNOL at the end of December, making it the largest hedge fund owner of Knology.

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