Hedge Fund and Insider Trading News: Tom Steyer, John Paulson, Elliott Management, Energy Transfer LP (ET), Axonics Modulation Technologies Inc (AXNX), and More

Tom Steyer Inches Closer to 2020 White House Bid (The Washington Post)
Tom Steyer, the California billionaire best known for his campaign to impeach President Trump, is making a move toward a potential 2020 White House bid, launching town halls in key primary states on the platform of “five rights.” Steyer announced the move Tuesday on his website and with a full-page ad in newspapers across the country. His “five rights” focus on education, the environment, voting rights, the economy, and health care.

Hedge Fund Elliott Raises Pressure on Mitek After Takeover Bid Rejected (Reuters)
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Hedge fund Elliott Management on Tuesday asked Mitek Systems Inc (MITK.O) to scrap a so-called poison pill to let it buy more stock and said it may press for board changes after the software company took steps to protect itself from the activist investor. Elliott, which invests more than $34 billion in assets, wrote to Mitek’s board and asked for “relief from the poison pill recently enacted” in order to buy as much as 14.9 percent of the company’s stock. Mitek did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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John Paulson Buying Stake in Asset Manager from HNA (MarketWatch)
John Paulson’s hedge fund agreed to buy a stake in a $238 billion asset manager from Chinese conglomerate HNA Group Co. Paulson & Co. plans to buy most of the ordinary shares of BrightSphere Investment Group PLC BSIG, -1.48% held by a unit of HNA, the New York-listed asset manager said in statement. Once completed, Paulson & Co. is expected to own just less than 25% of the ordinary shares of BrightSphere, which recently had a market capitalization of about $1.36 billion.

Hedge Funds Odey, GLG Are Exposed as Spread-Betters Bounce Back (Bloomberg)
(Bloomberg) — Surging shares of listed spread-betting companies are bad news for short-sellers such as GLG Partners and Odey Asset Management. Plus500 Ltd. climbed as much as 12 percent Tuesday as investors cheered a positive trading update from the Israeli company that could boost the whole industry. Peers including IG Group Holdings Plc also rose, bouncing back from declines that started around August. Odey has a short position in IG Group, or a wager its shares will drop, equal to 1.5 percent of the spread better’s outstanding stock. That’s worth about $42 million. GLG is short to the tune of just under 1 percent, according to Financial Conduct Authority data compiled by Bloomberg.

Bain and KKR Establish a Severance Fund for Toys R Us Workers (CNBC)
KKR and Bain Capital, the private equity firms that owned Toys R Us before the company declared bankruptcy earlier this year, said Tuesday that they have each pledged $10 million to create the TRU Financial Assistance Fund, which aims to distribute severance funds to former employees. The move is unusual for the firms, as they are not required under bankruptcy law to do such a thing. In a joint statement, KKR and Bain said the fund is being established in response to “an extraordinary set of circumstances” for both of the firms.