Magnetar Capital, James Dinan and David Einhorn, GSAM Departures

Magnetar Buys Metallurgical and Steam Coal Company (Hedgeco)
$7.5 billion hedge fund investor Magnetar Capital announced that Lightfoot Capital Partners, LP has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its interests in International Resource Partners LP, a metallurgical and steam coal company, to James River Coal Company in a cash transaction valued at $475 million. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2011, subject to various closing conditions. Magnetar, together with partners, formed Lightfoot in 2007 to pursue investments in energy- related businesses and assets.

GREENLIGHT CAPITAL

Top hedge funds’ fresh commodity bet: plastics (Reuters)
“Just one word … plastics.” That well-known line from the classic 1967 movie “The Graduate” may sum up the recent investment strategy of some top hedge fund managers, including James Dinan and David Einhorn. A wave of managers snapped up shares of LyondellBasell Industries (LYB), which makes chemicals like propylene and polyethylene, the stuff that goes into plastics. The popularity of plastics and raw materials signals that hedge funds are diversifying commodity bets beyond gold, the darling of 2010 returning 30 percent, as inflationary pressures seep into food and energy.

David Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital, Tom Steyer’s Farallon Capital, Dan Loeb’s Third Point, and Andreas Halvorsen’s Viking Global are among the hedge funds with LYB positions.

Another top exec is departing Goldman’s GSAM (Investment News)
Steve McGuinness, co-chief operating officer of Goldman Sachs Asset Management’s investment management business and global head of distribution, is leaving the firm next month. Mr. McGuinness, a 19-year GSAM veteran, is co-COO of the firm’s investment management business with Eric Lane. Goldman spokeswoman Melissa Daly confirmed Mr. McGuinness’ pending departure but declined to comment further. Last year, Marc A. Spilker, co-head of the investment management division and member of the management company, retired and was replaced by Edward C. Forst, who previously was the senior strategy officer and a member of the bank’s management committee. Mr. McGuinness reports to Mr. Forst and Tim O’Neill, co-head of Goldman’s investment management division.In December, Eileen Rominger, chief investment officer at GSAM and an 11-year veteran of the firm, stepped down.

Polygon Offers Exit Price of 72 Cents in the Dollar, FT Says (Bloomberg)
Polygon Investment Partners LLP offered investors in its failed Polygon Global Opportunities Fund 72 cents on the dollar to withdraw from their remaining positions in its flagship fund, the Financial Times reported, citing a letter sent to investors last month. The move is intended to bring to an end the wind-down begun after the $7.5 billion fund’s 48 percent loss in 2008, the newspaper said.

Asia Wealth Leads to Hedge Fund Shuffle (WSJ)
Asia’s growing wealth is causing a major personnel shuffle in the hedge-fund world, as global funds look to establishing footholds while star managers strike out on their own. A case in point: 40-year-old Julius Gaudio, the youngest member of hedge fund D.E. Shaw’s six-person executive committee, moved to Hong Kong in the autumn partly to meet more frequently with some of the region’s biggest investors.

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