Activist Hedge Fund Elliott Takes Stake in Pernod (Reuters)
PARIS, Dec 12 (Reuters) – Activist hedge fund Elliott Management has taken a stake in Pernod Ricard aiming to improve what Elliott said was relative underperformance at the French drinks company. Elliott said on Wednesday that funds advised by the company had a stake of just over 2.5 percent in Pernod. “Successive operational improvement plans have failed to generate operating leverage, leaving operating margins at a five-percentage point discount to its closest peer Diageo. Pernod’s M&A track record has also been disappointing, with the 6 billion euros ($6.8 billion) acquisition of Absolut in 2008 falling short of expectations,” Elliott said in a statement.
A $21 Billion Hedge Fund Has Doubled Down on PG&E Since the California Wildfires – Here’s Why (Business Insider)
BlueMountain Capital Management has doubled down on its investment into spiraling California utility company Pacific Gas & Electric, as the $21 billion hedge fund manager believes the market has overreacted to the impact of the deadly Camp Fire. In a December letter to investors obtained by Business Insider, BlueMountain wrote that the firm increased its stake in PG&E by 88% to approximately 11 million shares over the last two weeks. The publicly traded utility company’s stock price has fallen by as much as 60% since the Camp Fire began. It closed Tuesday trading at $26.06 a share.
Athenahealth Founder and Former CEO Jonathan Bush Blasts Activist Investor, Elliott (CNBC)
Jonathan Bush, founder and former CEO of health information technology Athenahealth, defended himself in an interview with CNBC on Wednesday and blasted Elliott Management, the activist investment firm that took a stake in his company and eventually bought it after Bush stepped down from the company. “My experience is running a company with a gun to your head is no way to run a company. Better to just say, ‘Pull the trigger,’” Bush said Wednesday on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street, ” describing what it was like to have an activist investor take a stake in his company.
Hedge Fund Liquidations Outpace Launches in Third Quarter (Pensions&Investments)
Hedge fund liquidations in the third quarter exceeded launches for the first time in four quarters, according to data released Wednesday by Hedge Fund Research. Hedge fund closures totaled 174 in the three-month period ended Sept. 30, compared to 125 in the previous quarter and 137 in third quarter 2017. The last time HFR analysis showed hedge fund closures topping launches was in the second quarter 2017 when 222 funds shut down and 180 funds started trading.