Hedge Fund BlueMountain Nominates New Board for PG&E (The Wall Street Journal)
BlueMountain Capital Management LLC, the hedge fund that wants to replace the board of directors at bankrupt California utility PG&E Corp., said Friday that its 13 nominees include utility and California business executives and former heads of the Sept. 11 compensation fund and federal transportation boards. The utility, which is struggling with billions of dollars in potential liabilities from its role in sparking California wildfires, is expected to hold its annual shareholder meeting in May.
Lansdowne Partners Office Move a Highlight in Sluggish West End Market (FNLondon)
Lansdowne Partners, one of the most established hedge funds in London, is set to move into one of the capital’s latest office revamps — a highlight in an otherwise slow start to the year for leasing deals in prestigious Mayfair. The hedge fund’s agreement to pre-let the top four floors of 25 Berkeley Square was one of the larger West End office deals tracked by the research team at Savills in January. The property agency counted only 18 transactions over the month, the lowest level for January in more than a decade. Savills’ team said the low number of leasing deals “is to be expected with the continued ongoing Brexit negotiations” and added: “We expect to see a lower volume of transactions complete over the first quarter of this year”.
Caesars Bows to Icahn Demands on Board, Sale Still Eyed (Reuters)
(Reuters) – U.S. casino operator Caesars Entertainment Corp has struck a deal with investor Carl Icahn that appoints three new directors to its board, although the billionaire hedge fund manager continues to press for a sale of the company. The company said on Friday it had come to an agreement with Icahn, on the composition of its board and appointment of the next chief executive officer, under which three existing directors will step down. The deal provides the Icahn Group the right to appoint a fourth representative to the board if a new CEO who is acceptable to new directors is not named within 45 days.
When Markets Turn Choppy, These Stocks will be the First Ones Hedge Funds Bail On (CNBC)
When hedge funds race for the door, don’t get left holding the bag. This is the advice from Jefferies’ equity strategist Steven DeSanctis, who warned investors of the darling stocks the most active funds own. As those high-turnover hedge funds trade and replace holdings most often, their top-owned stocks will most likely get dumped once sentiment turns. It’s important to recognize those crowded trades and get out before they unwind, he said.
Hedge Fund Titan Can’t Stop the Tears From Flowing (Bloomberg)
As the world’s biggest publicly traded hedge fund, Man Group PLC is a bellwether for that beleaguered sector of the asset management industry. The outlook isn’t improving. Disappointingly Flat: Losses on investments eroded Man’s assets under management last year. The modest decline in assets-under-management that Man reported on Friday for 2018 as a whole masks a sharper contraction in the final three months. The total declined to $108.5 billion by the end of December from $114.1 billion in the third quarter.
Greenwich Hedge Fund Is Mystery Firm Behind Venezuela Lawsuit (Bloomberg)
From the moment the $182 million lawsuits showed up in the docket of Manhattan state court last month, the speculation began to swirl. The defendant was recognizable enough: Venezuela’s ailing state-controlled oil company, PDVSA. But the plaintiff, some firm called Red Tree Investments LLC, was a total mystery. The firm provided almost no clues in the suits, listing its address in care of a Washington law firm, and showed up in no other suits. All that was known was that it was holding $182 million of unpaid loans originally extended by General Electric Capital and that it was now suing PDVSA for repayment.
EBay Announces Review of StubHub, Classifieds in Deal with Activists (Reuters)
(Reuters) – EBay Inc on Friday announced a review of its StubHub and eBay Classifieds businesses and said it would appoint two new directors to its board, as part of an agreement with activist investors to avert a proxy contest. The U.S. e-commerce firm will add Jesse Cohn, who runs U.S. hedge fund Elliott Management’s U.S. equity activism practice, and Matt Murphy, the CEO of Marvell Technology and a nominee of U.S. hedge fund Starboard Value, to its board.