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Hedge Fund and Insider Trading News: Larry Robbins, Starboard Value, Starbucks Co. (SBUX), Kala Pharmaceuticals Inc (KALA), and More

How Coaching Kids’ Hockey Helps Larry Robbins Oversee Glenview (Bloomberg)
Larry Robbins gives out “gag awards” to the kids he coaches in hockey, but not to employees at Glenview Capital Management. “The kids are thicker-skinned than the hedge fund people,” said Robbins, Glenview’s founder and chief executive officer. Instead, Robbins found another way to pass on coaches’ wisdom to the adults in his life: with milkshakes and foosball at a benefit for the Positive Coaching Alliance-New York City. Robbins, National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman and seven student-athletes were honored at the Feb. 1 event held in a middle-school gym in Manhattan.

Starboard Value Criticizes Mellanox for Stock Sales (The New York Times)
Starboard Value LP, the activist hedge fund, is taking up a new line of attack as it pushes for change at Mellanox. It is accusing the chip maker’s top executives and board members of not having enough faith in their company. Starboard Value sent a letter to Mellanox on Monday morning arguing that company insiders have consistently sold shares since its initial public offering in 2007 — while having bought stock on the open market only just once, and not since 2013.

Insider Trading Back

Luis Louro /

Activist Investor Elliott Sheds Most of Dufry Stake (Reuters)
ZURICH (Reuters) – Activist hedge fund investor Elliott Management Corp. has trimmed its stake in Swiss duty-free retailer Dufry AG in December to less than 1 percent, the SIX Swiss Stock Exchange reported over the weekend. The stock had risen more than 10 percent from when Reuters reported Elliott’s 5.6 percent holding on Dec. 20 until late January, before shedding much of that gain in recent trading. Elliott bought into Dufry on the expectation that the market would come to realize its value, people familiar with the thinking of the hedge fund led by billionaire activist investor Paul Singer told Reuters last month.

Ethiopian Geothermal Is Private Equity’s Next $4-Billion Bet (Bloomberg)
U.S. private equity and hedge funds are backing an effort by Ethiopia to turn itself into an exporter of electricity to the region, channeling at least $4 billion into geothermal projects across the nation. The Ethiopian government has signed 25-year power purchase agreements with Reykjavik Geothermal Ltd., a developer led by Michael Philipp, the former head of Europe, Middle East and Africa for Credit Suisse Group AG. The company is backed by by billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones and Ambata Capital Partners, an investment firm run by Philipp. Seleshi Bekele, the electricity and water minister, is seeking to quadruple Ethiopia’s power generation by 2020 and expand power sales abroad that now bring in about $90 million a year.

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