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Magnetar Capital Discloses Stake in Orbitz Worldwide, Inc. (OWW) As It’s Acquired by Expedia Inc (EXPE)

Alec Litowitz and Ross Laser’s Magnetar Capital has added Orbitz Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:OWW) to its equity portfolio, as a new filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission showed. The investor initiated a 5.6% activist stake in the online travel company that contains 6.27 million shares. The investor initiated a stake as Orbitz Worldwide and Expedia Inc (NASDAQ:EXPE) announced that they had agreed to merge in a deal valued at $1.34 billion. Since Magnetar’s stake is activist by nature, the fund also disclosed that it purchased 1.32 million shares of Orbitz Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:OWW) on behalf of PRA Master Fund after the merger was announced and that it indends to vote these shares in favor of the merger. Moreover, the fund holds a short position that contains 2.0 million shares, also established after the announcement of the merger. The position is hold as a hedge against the call options.

Orbitz Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:OWW)

Overall, Magnetar owns an equity portfolio valued at $5.44 billion that is focused on energy stocks, which amass 64% of the fund’s equity portfolio. The largest three long positions as of the end of 2014, are represented by Teekay Corporation (NYSE:TK), Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA), and TransCanada Corporation (USA) (NYSE:TRP). Messrs. Litowitz and Laser seem to be bullish on the equity markets, since Magnetar’s latest 13F filing revealed increases in the majority of its holdings and 90 positions, but also around 100 sold out.

The deal between Expedia Inc (NASDAQ:EXPE) and Orbitz Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:OWW) is considered to make hotels and airlines operators not very happy since they are very watchful of big companies standing between them and their customers. The merger is supposed to bring many large U.S. travel-booking sites within one company, which will strenghten their position on the market. The latest deal is not the first this year, since Expedia Inc (NASDAQ:EXPE) agreed to buy Travelocity in January for around $280 million.

Among over 700 hedge funds that we track, the largest shareholder of Orbitz Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:OWW) is Parag Vora‘s HG Vora Capital Management, which owns 6.75 million shares as of the end of 2014. In addition, David Warren’s DW Partners initiated a stake in the company during the fourth quarter and disclosed ownership of 2.50 million shares in its last 13F filing.

Disclosure: none

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