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Swedish-Born Tom Sandell Focuses on Equity Special Events Opportunities

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Sandell Asset Management Corporation is a New York-based alternative asset management firm that predominantly focuses on equity special events and credit opportunities. The asset manager, founded by Thomas Sandell in 1998, seeks to find fundamentally attractive hard-catalyst corporate events at companies across the globe. While Mr. Sandell, born and raised in Sweden, may seem uncommonly quiet for an activist investor, his New York-based hedge fund has also engaged in numerous activist campaigns in recent years. Sandell Asset Management had an equity portfolio worth $420.98 million at the end of March, up from the $362.61 million figure recorded at the end of the December quarter. Leaving these figures aside, let’s have an in-depth look at Sandell’s top five equity holdings as of the end of the March quarter.

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#5. Baxalta Inc. (NYSE:BXLT)

– Number of shares owned by Sandell as of March 31: 499,070

– Value of Sandell’s holding as of March 31: $20.16 Million

The New York-based asset manager acquired a new stake of 499,070 shares of Baxalta Inc. (NYSE:BXLT) during the January-March period, which was worth $20.16 million at the end of the quarter. In January 2016, the U.S. drugmaker sealed an agreement with Shire PLC (ADR) (NASDAQ:SHPG) under which the Dublin-based company will acquire the former to create a leader in the treatment of rare diseases. Under the terms of the January agreement, Baxalta shareholders will receive $18.00 in cash and 0.1482 American Depository Shares (ADSs) of Shire for each Baxalta share at closing. The shareholders of the two companies will vote on the proposed merger on May 27, with the transaction being anticipated to close in early June. Shire officials recently assured the market that the new regulations imposed by the U.S. government to curb tax inversions would not hamper the $32 billion merger. Daniel S. Och’s OZ Management added a 14.43 million-share stake in Baxalta Inc. (NYSE:BXLT) to its portfolio during the March quarter.

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#4. Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE:CVC)

– Number of shares owned by Sandell as of March 31: 622,500

– Value of Sandell’s holding as of March 31: $20.54 Million

Sandell Asset Management upped its existing position in Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE:CVC) by 158,900 shares, or roughly 34%, during the first quarter of 2016 to 622,500 shares. The increased stake was worth $20.54 million at the end of March and accounted for 4.9% of the hedge fund’s portfolio. In September 2016, Cablevision agreed to be acquired by European cable company Altice N.V. in a $17.7 billion deal that could create the fourth-largest cable provider in the United States. Under the terms of the agreement, Cablevision shareholders would receive $34.90 in cash for each share of Cablevision. The multi-billion-merger between Cablevision and the Dutch company was initially anticipated to close during the second quarter of 2016. Cablevision shares have advanced 8% since the beginning of 2016 and trade slightly below the $34.90 acquisition price, which suggests most investors anticipate the deal to go through successfully. Jim Simons’ Renaissance Technologies owns 5.55 million shares of Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE:CVC) as of March 31.

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