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Hedge Fund Highlights: James Simons, Phil Falcone & Steven Cohen

KKR Said to Buy Stake in BlackGold for Hedge Fund Growth (Businessweek)
KKR & Co. L.P. (NYSE:KKR), the private-equity firm led by George Roberts and Henry Kravis, agreed to buy a stake in hedge fund BlackGold Capital Management LP as it continues to grow beyond buyouts, said a person with knowledge of the deal. KKR will take a 24.9 percent stake in Houston-based BlackGold, which makes credit investments in energy-related companies and assets, said the person who asked not to be identified because the transaction hasn’t been announced. KKR will share in BlackGold’s earnings, which include fees for managing money and for producing profits, the person said.

Highland Capital’s Okada Warns About Price-Sensitive Junk Debt (Moneynews)
Mark Okada, Chief Investment Officer of Highland Capital Management LP, is sounding the alarm on some high-yield, high-risk loans and bonds, which may be more susceptible to price swings as a result of record-low yields. “Prices are more sensitive to fundamental risks because the coupon is so low,” Okada said Thursday at a media briefing held by the Dallas-based hedge fund, which manages about $23 billion.

Hedge Fund Says Argentina Not Working to Negotiate Deal in Dispute (Wall Street Journal)
A hedge fund suing Argentina in a dispute over defaulted bonds said late Friday the country shows no signs of wanting to negotiate a settlement. The claim comes as the clock ticks quickly toward a July 30 deadline that is key for Argentina. If the country doesn’t reach a settlement by then it could default on its debt for the second time in 13 years. “Argentina is still refusing to negotiate with its creditors, either directly or indirectly, about any aspect of this dispute, and we have not heard that it has any plans to change course,” a spokesman for the hedge fund, NML Capital Ltd., said in a statement.

Aecom Technology Agrees to Buy URS for About $4 Billion (Bloomberg)
AECOM Technology Corp (NYSE:ACM) agreed to acquire URS Corp (NYSE:URS), the engineering and construction-management company targeted by activist hedge fund Jana Partners LLC, for about $4 billion to gain new services in markets including oil and gas. Aecom will pay the equivalent of $56.31 a share for URS in the cash-and-stock deal, or about 19 percent more than its 30-day average closing price, the companies said in a statement yesterday. Including debt, the value of the transaction would be about $6 billion. The per-share price is about 8.2 percent more than URS’s July 11 close.

Credit Suisse’s Verde hedge fund betting on a Brazilian rate cut (Reuters)
Money managers at Credit Suisse Group AG (ADR) (NYSE:CS)’s CSHG Verde FIC FIM, the biggest Brazilian hedge fund, are betting the nation’s central bank will soon begin to cut interest rates to revive a flagging economy. Verde stands by its bet that Brazil’s currency, the real, will fall despite central bank efforts to prop it up, as concerns grow over the sustainability of public finances and external accounts, the managers said in a letter to investors distributed on Friday.

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