Hedge Fund and Insider Trading News: Crispin Odey, ValueAct, Intrepid Potash, Inc. (IPI), Lululemon Athletica Inc. (LULU), and More

Popular Hedge-Fund Bet on PG&E Upended by California’s Deadliest Fire (The Wall Street Journal)
Utilities have long been considered ultrasafe bets. Some of Wall Street’s biggest investors are now learning that isn’t always true. The Baupost Group LLC, Viking Global Investors LP and BlueMountain Capital Management LLC were among the hedge funds that snapped up shares of California utility PG&E Corp. during the third quarter of 2018, just before the deadliest fire in California history started on Nov. 8.

Hedge Funds Bet on Brexit (Bloomberg)
Crispin Odey of Odey Asset Management, and a supporter of Brexit, thinks the U.K. will now stay in the EU and is betting on U.K. stocks. Meanwhile a Singapore hedge fund will be moving its headquarters to the U.K. Bloomberg’s Jason Kelly and Peggy Collins discuss on “Bloomberg Daybreak: Americas.” (Source: Bloomberg).

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Gannett Gets $1.36 Billion Hostile Bid From MNG Enterprises (Bloomberg)
(Bloomberg) — USA Today publisher Gannett Co. received an unsolicited $1.36 billion offer from MNG Enterprises Inc., a company that has bought newspapers across the country and is known for its drastic cost cuts. A deal would turn MNG, backed by hedge fund Alden Global Capital, into the largest owner of U.S. daily newspapers. MNG already has more than 200 daily and weekly titles, including the Denver Post and Orange County Register, and has been eliminating jobs to try to squeeze profits from the troubled sector. The moves have drawn protests from journalists.

Failed Brexit The Biggest Sterling Trade Since Soros’ $1.5bn ERM Win (Seeking Alpha)
Hedge fund titan George Soros first hit the global headlines in 1992 when he broke the Bank of England with a huge bet against Sterling, making $1.5 billion on this single trade. Other top hedge fund managers, including Paul Tudor Jones and Bruce Kovner joined this mega payday collecting another $2 billion, according to estimates made since then by Forbes George Soros correctly realised, ahead of the pack, that the pound was about to be forced to leave the then European Exchange Rate Mechanism, an outrider to the Euro’s birth in 1999 that brought the then separate eurozone currencies into closer alignment. And when the pound actually did drop out of the ERM Soros’ record short position paid its bumper profits.

ValueAct Takes This Kinder-Gentler Thing To A Whole New Level (DealBreaker)
A few years ago, being a nice-guy activist was all the rage. You didn’t have to be a kicking, screaming, f-bomb dropping sociopath dreaming up cutting new putdowns to destroy your opponents in print, anymore. In fact, it you didn’t make companies hate and fear you so much, maybe they’d even consider listening to you and not simply calling their lawyers. And no one was a nicer-guy activist than Jeff Ubben. He loves bank CEOs! He didn’t want to be mean to Brian Moynihan! He brought, well, nothing to a gun fight with Henry Kravis, because, you know, he doesn’t want to fight. And now, he’s taking passive activism to new heights by boldly, you know, not even asking for a board seat.