Dan Sobol and Lisa Hess’ Skytop Capital is Betting on Services and Financials

In 2012, Skytop Capital Management was founded by Dan Sobol and Lisa Hess. The New York-based emerging special situations and distressed fund has $238 million in AUM.  Previously, Sobol worked as a portfolio manager at Loews Corporation (NYSE:L), the holding company controlled by the Tisch family. Sobol and his team, at Loews, focused on distressed and special situations. Prior to Loews, Sobol held positions with Dreyfus, American Express and Wegmans. Lisa Hess was chief investment officer of Loews Corporation from 2002 to 2008. Prior to Loews, she was a founding partner of Zesiger Capital Group.

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In its latest filing, Skytop Capital has disclosed its long equity positions as of the end of the fourth quarter of 2013. The fund has revealed a total of 19 positions, worth in aggregate nearly $208 million. In this article, we will talk about the top five holdings in term of value from Skytop Capital’s equity portfolio. These five positions represent 45.29% of the fund’s total portfolio.

Gencorp Inc (NYSE:GY) is the most valuable holding, in which the fund trimmed its stake to 1.48 million shares, worth close to $27 million, from 1.53 million shares held at the end of the third quarter of 2013. Gencorp Inc (NYSE:GY) provides innovative solutions to its customers in the aerospace and defense, energy and real estate markets. Another investor Richard Mcguire’s Marcato Capital Management holds 5.76 million shares, worth over $104 million. The company’s net sales for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013 totaled $485.3 million, compared to $298.2 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012. The company has a market capitalization of $1.13 billion.

The second largest holding is SemGroup Corp (NYSE:SEMG), which provides gathering, transportation, processing, storage, distribution, marketing and other midstream services primarily to independent oil and natural gas producers, refiners of petroleum products and other market participants located in the Mid-Continent and Rocky Mountain regions of the United States and in Canada, Mexico and the United Kingdom. In the company, Skytop Capital revealed owning 328,900 shares, worth over $21 million, a decrease from 396,400 share reported previously. SemGroup Corp (NYSE:SEMG) reported revenues for fourth quarter 2013 of $457.3 million with net income attributable to the company of $3.3 million, compared to revenues of $357.7 million with a net loss attributable to the company of $1.9 million for the third quarter 2013. For the fourth quarter 2012, revenues totaled $315.8 million with net income attributable to the company of $21.1 million, or $0.50 per diluted share.

American International Group Inc (NYSE:AIG) is on the third spot. The fund reduced its stake in the company to 315,200 shares from 324,300 shares. The value of holding amounts to over $16 million. Fairholme (Fairx), managed by Bruce Berkowitz, owns nearly 80 million shares of AIG, worth over $4 million. American International Group Inc (NYSE:AIG) recently announced that its board of directors authorized the repurchase of additional shares of the company’s common stock with an aggregate purchase price of up to $1.0 billion.

In Era Group Inc (NYSE:ERA), Skytop Capital disclosed holding 511,900 shares, down from 544,300 shares reported previously. The value of current holding is close to $16 million. Era Group Inc (NYSE:ERA), which has a market capitalization of approximately $826 million, provides helicopter operators worldwide and is the longest serving helicopter transport operator in the U.S.

On the fifth spot is Liberty Interactive (Interactive group) (NASDAQ:LINTA), in which the fund owns over 475,700 shares, with a reported value of nearly $14 million. The stake was down from 570,609 shares reported previous.

At the same time, Skytop Capital reported new positions in FTD Companies Inc (NASDAQ:FTD) and Micron Technology Inc. (NASDAQ:MU). The fund owns 407,800 shares of FTD Companies Inc (NASDAQ:FTD). The value of holding is close to $14 million. In Micron Technology Inc. (NASDAQ:MU), the fund disclosed ownership of 351,300 shares, worth nearly $8 million.

Moreover, Skytop Capital disclosed selling its stakes in Hertz Global Holdings Inc. (NYSE:HTZ) and News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA). The fund sold out 300,000 shares of Hertz Global Holdings Inc. (NYSE:HTZ) and 1.11 million shares of News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA).

Disclosure: none

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