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Nexvet Biopharma plc (NVET), Allergan, Inc. (AGN), DIRECTV (DTV) : Farallon Capital’s New Activist Position and Top Picks

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Farallon Capital, a hedge fund founded by Thomas Steyer in 1986, owns a pretty diversified portfolio, as its latest 13F filing showed. Moreover, recently the equity portfolio was augmented with a new position, as one of the fund’s investments, Nexvet Biopharma plc (NASDAQ:NVET), went public at the beginning of February. Farallon reported a 27% activist stake in the company, which amounts to 3.17 million shares. In addition, Farallon has a representative on the company’s board, Rajiv Patel, who is a Managing Member and portfolio manager at the fund.


Nexvet Biopharma plc (NASDAQ:NVET) is a biotech & medical research company that went public a couple of weeks ago, and since the IPO, the stock gained around 8%. Another shareholder of the company is Phill Gross and Robert Atchinson’s Adage Capital Partners, which reported ownership of 825,000 shares shortly after the IPO. The current value of Nexvet Biopharma plc (NASDAQ:NVET) places Farallon’s holding at some $30 million, which represents a small fraction of the fund’s $7 billion equity portfolio as of the end of December.

In fact, during the fourth quarter, the fund has made several bold moves and boosted its exposure to all of its four largest holdings in terms of value. The first holding is represented by Allergan, Inc. (NYSE:AGN), in which the fund disclosed almost 2.50 million shares, valued at $531.05 million shares, up by nearly 130% over the previous quarter. Farallon initiated the stake in Allergan during the second quarter, following the trend of many other investors who became bullish on the company on the back of the attempts made to purchase it by Bill Ackman‘s Pershing Square and Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX). Even though Mr. Ackman and Valeant failed, the investors have been rewarded with larger returns after Allergan, Inc. (NYSE:AGN) entered into a deal with Actavis to be purchased by the latter for $66 billion, which is above the $60 billion bid made by the Pershing Square-Valeant group. As the proxy fight between Allergan, Inc. (NYSE:AGN) and Pershing Square was unraveling, investors became more and more convinced that a deal was on its way, which sent the stock surging over the last year by 80%.

Even though Bill Ackman did not succeed in acquiring Allergan, Inc. (NYSE:AGN) together with Valeant, he still made a lot of money from the Actavis-Allergan deal. In its latest 13F filing, Pershing Square reported holding 26.64 million shares of Allergan, valued at $5.66 billion. Among other investors betting on the stock were John Paulson, Daniel Och, Andreas Halvorsen and Paul Singer.

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