Kyle Bass Says Substantial U.S.-China Deal Unlikely at This Time (Bloomberg)
Hedge fund manager Kyle Bass, founder of Hayman Capital Management, said a “substantial” U.S.-China trade agreement is unlikely at this stage. The U.S. and China could reach an interim trade deal, “where the Chinese buy some more ag products from the U.S., and the U.S. decides to delay tariffs,” Bass said in a Bloomberg TV interview on Thursday. “The hard one is getting a more substantial agreement put together, which I don’t think will happen at this moment in time.”
Warren Buffett Made a Phone Call (Bloomberg)
Buffett dealmaking: I am surely not the only person who got into mergers-and-acquisitions law, and later investment banking, because I read “Barbarians at the Gate” at an impressionable age. There was just something about the high-stakes negotiations, the crack teams of experts mobilizing to work through the night to sign a big deal, the intensity coupled with quiet professionalism, that I found appealing. In my brief time as an M&A lawyer I once worked for a company that was selling itself, and at one point we really did have two different bidders in conference rooms on two different floors of our building, each unaware that the other was there, and I’d hurry between the bidders trying to remember who was where and hoping not to let anything slip and working frantically to get the deal done but also thinking somewhere in the back of my mind “man, this right here, this is the stuff.” I don’t know, I was a strange kid, it wore off pretty quickly.
Toys R Us Administrator Moorfields in $50m Hedge Fund Fight (The Times)
The administrator of Toys R Us is heading for a $50 million court battle next month with a group of American investors to determine how much cash the pensions lifeboat can recover. A progress report by Moorfields has revealed that a court date has been set for November to determine the validity of a $50 million charge held by hedge funds over the British toy retailer. The funds, which include Silver Point Capital, are part of a group of secured creditors that provided a distressed funding package to Toys R Us’s American parent after it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2017.
Activists Storm Office of U.K. Hedge Fund to Protest Cargill (Bloomberg)
Animal rights activists stormed the London offices of credit hedge fund CarVal Investors to protest the environmental practices of agribusiness giant Cargill Inc. A video posted by Animal Rebellion on Twitter showed demonstrators streaming into the lobby of CarVal on Thursday. The activist group incorrectly claimed they were at Cargill’s head office in London, calling it “the worst company in the world for environmental destruction.”
Meet the 39-year-old Hedge Fund Star Most People Have Never Heard of who Bought a $30 million Penthouse on Wall Street (Business Insider)
Jesse Cohn does not like to sit still – which is a good thing since the 39-year-old activist investor wakes up before the sun to train for triathlons and then goes into Elliott Management‘s midtown offices to construct campaigns against some of the biggest companies in the world. The latest company to find itself in Cohn’s crosshairs is AT&T, the media conglomerate that is an American staple. Cohn has steadily built the activism unit of the now-$38 billion Elliott to the point where he can take on a company like AT&T and be favored to win.
Epic Names Lou D’Agostino National Hedge Fund Practice Leader (Consulting.us)
Epic Insurance Brokers and Consultants has announced the appointment of principal Lou D’Agostino as the firm’s national hedge fund practice leader. In the role, D’Agostino will be responsible for the development and drive of the practice, which is part of its financial services division. He will also focus on the unique risk management and insurance needs of hedge funds, as well as alternative asset management clients. “I feel privileged to have the opportunity to lead Epic’s national hedge fund practice,” D’Agostino said. “The needs of this market are dynamic and demanding and I remain committed to the innovation of products and programs to meet them.”
Investors Are Zoning Out on Opportunity Zone Funds (Preqin.com)
Opportunity Zone Funds (OZFs) are designed to enable investors to do well by doing good. Created to spur investment in low-income communities designated as ‘Opportunity Zones’ by the US Government, OZFs have champions in high places. Tech entrepreneur and philanthropist Sean Parker – who co-founded music sharing service Napster and later became Facebook’s first President – helped to drive the initiative to create these Zones. OZFs have the potential to become “its own asset class, and it could be a very large asset class,” Parker told the New York Times in an interview last year. But sparking investor interest in a new asset class has not been easy.