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Hedge Fund and Insider Trading News: Bill Ackman, Richard Perry, Elliott Management, Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN), Ford Motor Company (F), and More

Ackman Exits Positions in United Techologies and ADP (Bloomberg)
Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management has liquidated its positions in United Technologies Corp. and Automatic Data Processing Inc. as the firm builds up its cash reserves for new investments. Ackman has decided to sell his stake in industrial company United Technologies rather than fight its takeover of defense contractor Raytheon Co., according to people familiar with the matter, who asked to not be identified because the matter isn’t public. He had vowed to oppose that deal in June, saying it lacked strategic sense.

Hedge Fund Elliott Holds 5.51% Stake in Japan’s Unizo – Filing (Reuters)
TOKYO, Aug 6 (Reuters) – U.S. hedge fund Elliott Management holds a 5.51% stake in Japanese hotel operator Unizo Holdings , according to a regulatory filing submitted on Tuesday in Japan. Japanese travel agency H.I.S. Co last month launched a tender offer for about 40 percent of the shares in Unizo, which operates limited-service hotels in Japan.H.I.S., already Unizo’s top shareholder with a 4.79 percent stake, said it wants to increase its stake in Unizo to as much as 45 percent. Unizo has yet to announce its stance on H.I.S.’s tender offer.

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Low Beta Hedge Fund Strategies Are Set to Outperform, Says Lyxor (Opalesque.com)
Low beta stocks recorded a strong rise as trade tensions escalated at the end of last week, said Lyxor in its Weekly Brief. The defensive risk factor massively outperformed cyclical risk factors such as size and value over the past three months. In the L/S Equity space, few strategies focus on low beta stocks, which typically involve companies from sectors such as utilities, consumer staples, health care, real estate, and communications. However, Market Neutral L/S has a significant bias towards momentum stocks, which are now closely correlated to low beta stocks. “Our defensive stance with regards to risk appetite in a context of decelerating economic growth, weak (or negative) earnings growth, elevated policy risks and the U.S. equity market at an all-time high, led us to upgrade Market Neutral L/S a couple of months ago,” Lyxor said.

Nordic Equity HFs Inch Up in July (Hedge Nordic)
Stockholm (HedgeNordic) – Nordic equity hedge funds posted an average return of 0.4 percent in July (88 percent reported), as the percentage of funds with positive returns reached 60 percent. Equity hedge funds, as expressed by the NHX Equities, gained 4.6 percent in the first seven months of 2019, marginally beating CTAs and fixed-income hedge funds but trailing multi-strategy funds. Nordic equity hedge funds as a group outperformed local equity markets last month but lagged global stock market indices. Nordic equities, as expressed by the VINX All-share index, returned a negative 0.7 percent in Euro terms in July.

The Fall of Barneys Burns a Hedge-Fund Star (The Wall Street Journal)
Some billionaire hedge-fund managers buy sports teams. Richard Perry snapped up one of New York’s most influential luxury department-store chains. Mr. Perry’s passion project—Barneys New York Inc.—filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection early Tuesday morning with a financing package in place that closes the majority of its stores. The loan was expected to give the retailer two months to find a buyer, or face liquidation. Barneys’ troubles reflect the litany of woes hurting…

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