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Hedge Fund and Insider Trading News: John Paulson, Appaloosa Management, ESL Investments, Vaxart Inc (VXRT), Altair Engineering Inc (ALTR), and More

Proxy Firms Glass Lewis, ISS Back Allergan in Fight Against Appaloosa (Reuters)
(Reuters) – Two major shareholder advisory firms urged investors to vote against billionaire investor David Tepper’s hedge fund demand that Allergan Plc immediately split the roles of chief executive officer and chairman, in a boost to the Botox maker. The recommendation from Institutional Shareholder Services LP and Glass Lewis & Co against the proposal of Tepper’s Appaloosa gives firepower to Allergan Chairman and CEO Brent Saunders ahead of the drugmaker’s shareholder meeting on May 1.

John Paulson Plots Path to Spin Off Funds in Transition to Family Office (Bloomberg)
John Paulson has segregated most of his personal capital from that of outside investors in his hedge funds, setting the stage for a potential spinoff that would transform the billionaire’s advisory firm into a family office. Paulson & Co. has created what it calls a “side-by-side” management arrangement in which the firm conducts its flagship trading strategies through two separate sets of funds, according to a March regulatory filing. One group serves as proprietary trading vehicles for the 63-year-old founder; the other holds outside capital as well a smaller portion of Paulson’s money.

Covalis Capital's Returns, AUM and Holdings

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Opalesque Roundup: More Hedge Funds with Market Beating Returns in 2018 Become Known: Hedge Fund News, Week 14 (Opalesque.com)
In the week ending April 12th 2019, Further in performance news, Chase Coleman‘s firm’s long-short fund, Tiger Global Investments, posted a 13.6 percent net gain last year. Renaissance Technologies‘ various funds returned between 8.5% and 10.3%, giving Renaissance founder Jim Simons an enormous $1.6 billion payday in 2018. Meanwhile in Q1 2019, Darsana Capital Partners posted a 20 percent gain, easily beating the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index’s 13.6 percent gain. Hedge funds gained an average of +0.87% in March, the third consecutive month of positive returns according to March eVestment hedge fund performance data bringing Q1 2019 gains to +5.40%, the industry’s best aggregate returns since the start of 2012.

Campaign Blames Hedge Funds for GM Worker Woes (Tribune Chronicle)
The Bernie Sanders campaign distributed to media members at his Lordstown rally Sunday a report that blamed hedge funds for attacking General Motors and American jobs. GM is expected to save billions from the plant closures and massive layoffs, including the idling of the Lordstown assembly plant, which cost more than 1,500 area jobs. Less than a quarter of the money that they’ve “eagerly given away to their billionaire shareholders and friends on Wall Street,” according to the United Auto Workers.

Appeal to Argo Shareholders in Proxy Battle (Royal Gazette)
Independent directors who sit on the board of Bermudian-based Argo Group International Holdings Ltd have written to the company’s shareholders asking for their support in an ongoing proxy battle with activist shareholders Voce Capital Management. The 3,144-word letter has been filed with the Securities Exchange Commission in the United States. Argo’s annual general meeting of shareholders will be held May 24. Writing that Voce’s principal, J. Daniel Plants has “put forward a series of poorly researched claims with little regard for the truth”, Argo’s independent directors appealed to shareholders for support to “prevent the short-term interests of an activist hedge fund from disrupting the steady growth and superior shareholder returns you have come to expect”.

Sears Hometown & Outlet Stores Board Discussing Liquidation (MarketWatch)
The board at Sears Hometown & Outlet Stores Inc. SHOS, -2.60% is meeting on Monday to discuss a possible liquidation, according to a filing, a move opposed by ESL Investments Inc., Eddie Lampert‘s hedge fund and a shareholder. ESL and its affiliates own about 58% of Sears Hometown shares. On April 8, Sears Hometown announced that it had received a bid from Transform Holdco for $2.25 per share for all of the outstanding stock ESL doesn’t already own. ESL voiced its opposition to liquidation on Friday.

Napoleon Capital Secures BNP Paribas Asset Management Investment (HedgeWeek)
Napoleon Capital has completed a fundraising with BNP Paribas Asset Management’s (BNPP AM) BNP Paribas Capital Partners, the company’s multi-management specialist. BNP Capital Partners joins a group of investors including École Polytechnique (via the X-Création incubator) and other financial professionals, to accelerate Napoleon Capital’s development. This new stage of fundraising aims to position Napoleon Capital as a new tech-centric player in algorithmic investment solutions. Its investment consulting offer builds on the latest research using Artificial Intelligence, as well as a proprietary micro-services IT infrastructure.

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