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Hedge Fund Highlights: Carl Icahn, John Paulson & Sprott Asset Management

Icahn and Ackman Publicly End Feud With an Embrace (New York Times)
A dispute between two billionaire investors, Carl C. Icahn and William A. Ackman, ended with a phone call a few weeks ago and, on Wednesday, a public embrace. Mr. Ackman called Mr. Icahn’s office and told his assistant, “Tell Carl I’m calling to forgive him,” Mr. Ackman told an audience of the hedge fund faithful on Wednesday at the CNBC Delivering Alpha Conference at the Pierre Hotel in Manhattan. The two investors, who last spoke together publicly more than a year ago in a confrontation that ended with Mr. Icahn calling Mr. Ackman a “crybaby in the schoolyard,” met for an intimate chat on stage.

ICAHN CAPITAL Carl Icahn

Capital Innovations To Sub-Advise Sprott Real Asset Fund (FINalternatives)
Toronto, ON-based Sprott Asset Management has launched a fourth alternative mutual fund sub-advised by Wisconsin-based Capital Innovations. The Sprott Real Asset Class fund will give investors exposure to the infrastructure, timber and agriculture sectors. It joins the Sprott Global Infrastructure Fund, the Sprott Timber Fund and the Sprott Global Agriculture Fund, all managed by Capital Innovations’ Michael Underhill and Susan Dambekaln.

Hedge fund manager Paulson calls Valeant a ‘serious acquirer’ (Reuters)
Billionaire investor John Paulson on Wednesday called Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX) a “very serious acquirer” and predicted that Allergan, Inc. (NYSE:AGN) cannot rebuff the drug maker on its own. Paulson, whose hedge fund Paulson & Co holds a roughly $1 billion stake, or 6 million shares, in Allergan, threw his weight behind Valeant’s bid to buy the Botox maker on Wednesday at the CNBC Institutional Investor Delivering Alpha Conference.

An Obscure Hedge Fund Has Mapped Out A Recovery Plan For American Apparel (Business Insider Australia)
Standard General, a little-known hedge fund that has taken the reins of American Apparel, has mapped out a recovery plan for the retailer with or without its ousted Chief Executive Officer Dov Charney. The fund invests in companies that have potential even though they may be bogged down by debt and are undergoing an event such as bankruptcy. Standard General has not always succeeded — consider its passive investment in RadioShack Corporation (NYSE:RSH)’s stock, which has fallen about 69 per cent this year. But it has a track record of turning positions in distressed companies into board seats and eventual profitability.

Cliffs Natural Resources: Board Battle Just Got Interesting (Barron’s)
It’s proxy vote time in the battle between Cliffs Natural Resources Inc (NYSE:CLF) and Casablanca Capital–and Casablanca just scored a big victory in trying to unseat Cliffs board. Last night, Casablanca Capital said that two leading proxy advisory firms–ISS and Glass Lewis–recommended that shareholders vote for its board nominees. Credit Suisse analysts Nathan Littlewood and Gayle Podurgiel explain the impact…

John Paulson: The single best investment you can make (CNBC.com)


Elliott sues for higher Kabel Deutschland squeeze-out: sources (Reuters)
U.S. hedge fund Elliott has filed a suit with a Munich court demanding higher compensation for minority shareholders in a squeeze-out of Kabel Deutschland by Vodafone Group Plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:VOD), two people familiar with the matter told Reuters. Vodafone secured just over three quarters of shares in Kabel Deutschland, Germany’s largest cable company, with a 7.7 billion euro ($10.4 billion) takeover offer last year. The world’s second-largest mobile operator is seeking to expand its offering of television and fixed-line services in Germany.

Blackstone’s Profit More Than Doubles (Wall Street Journal)
Blackstone Group LP on Thursday said its second-quarter earnings more than doubled, as the company continued to reap big gains selling assets from its private-equity business into the rising stock market. The New York firm reported second-quarter profit of $517 million, or 85 cents a share, up from $211 million, or 36 cents a share, in the same period last year. Blackstone’s second-quarter economic net income was $1.3 billion, or $1.15 a share, up from $703 million, or 62 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. That exceeds Wall Street’s expectations for the profitability measure, which includes unrealized gains as well as cash earnings.

Black Diamond Capital Management Appoints Samuel Farahnak as Director for Private Equity Funds (DigitalJournal.com)
Black Diamond Capital Management, L.L.C., a leading alternative asset management firm with over $8 billion in assets under management, today announced the appointment of Samuel Farahnak as a Director in its Private Equity business. Mr. Farahnak will focus on identifying and evaluating controlling equity investments and M&A opportunities. “Sam’s wealth of experience and industry knowledge will further strengthen our private equity team and expand our sourcing capabilities,” said Stephen Deckoff, Managing Principal of Black Diamond. “We are pleased to have him join the Black Diamond team.”

Hedge Fund Standards Board granted membership of IOSCO (HedgeWeek)
The Hedge Fund Standards Board (HFSB) has been granted affiliate membership of the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO). More than 120 securities regulators are full members of IOSCO and the HFSB will join 62 other affiliate members involved in the markets, including the London Stock Exchange, Deutsche Börse and the International Capital Market Association. David Wright, secretary general of IOSCO, says: “We are pleased to welcome the Hedge Fund Standards Board as an affiliate member of IOSCO. There is an important role for industry standards to play alongside statutory regulation in promoting transparency and good governance in the financial markets. The HFSB can play a valuable role working with regulators and supervisors.”

Hedge Fund Research: Highly Disproportionate Inflows into Non-U.S. Equities Persist (HedgeCo.net)
TrimTabs Investment Research reported today that U.S. investors have overwhelmingly favored non-U.S. equities this year. While U.S. equity mutual funds and exchange-traded funds have received $12.6 billion, global equity mutual funds and exchange-traded funds have raked in $84.3 billion. “Global equity funds have received almost seven times as much money as U.S. equity funds this year,” said David Santschi, Chief Executive Officer of TrimTabs. “Fund investors are as convinced as ever that the grass is greener overseas.”

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