Hedge Fund News: Carl Icahn, Chase Coleman, Seth Klarman, London Whale

TIGER GLOBAL MANAGEMENT LLCWhat Price Nollywood? “Chase” Coleman’s Tiger Global Puts $8M in Nigerian Film Industry (CityBizList)
Charles “Chase” Coleman III, billionaire investor and head of the New York-basedTiger Global hedge fund, has a nose for the next big thing. He was an early investor in Facebook and Zynga. Now he is sniffing around in Nigeria. The UK Telegraph reports that Coleman and Tiger Global have poured $8 million into iROKO Partners, an Anglo-Nigerian company that distributes Nigerian films.

Seth Klarman’s Baupost Group Sells Out Of Targacept (TRGT) (ValueInvestingNews)
Seth Klarman‘s hedge fund firm Baupost Group just now filed an amended 13G with the SEC. In it, they disclose that they’ve sold completely out of their equity position and no longer own any shares. This disclosure was made due to activity on March 31st, 2012 which portfolio managers will note is…

Letter: Get This? (NaplesNews)
George Perry’s commentary on energy was great and contributed to the solution, not the problem. Our current excess electric production could power three-quarters of all cars in the United States. T. Boone Pickens, an oil icon, has been pushing liquefied natural gas (LNG) for several years and for big trucks, etc.

Star Fund Managers Make Quick Recovery (TheAdvocate)
BRUCE BERKOWITZ: The manager of Fairholme Fund is enjoying a worst-to-first turnaround. Fairholme (FAIRX) posted a 31 percent first-quarter return, best among hundreds of large-cap value mutual funds. Fairholme finished last in 2011, losing more than 32 percent while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index returned 2 percent. It was an unwelcome surprise for Fairholme investors who earned an average 13 percent a year from 2000 through 2009 — 14 percentage points ahead of the S&P 500. In a recent letter to shareholders, Berkowitz opened with this assessment of 2011: “What a horrible year for performance!” Yet he stuck by his decision to load three-quarters of his portfolio with financial stocks such as insurer AIG and Bank of America. Those two picks lost more than 50 percent last year. Berkowitz’s high-conviction approach has paid off this year, as AIG is up 33 percent and Bank of America has surged more than 70 percent.

Icahn sues Amylin in shake-up try (Bradenton)
NEW YORK — Billionaire investor Carl Icahn is suing Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc., saying he and other shareholders should get more time to nominate candidates to the diabetes drugmaker’s board of directors. Icahn said Monday that Amylin is “at a crossroads” and stockholders deserve a chance to nominate new directors. The activist investor said he wants to nominate directors who will listen to offers for the company, and he accused the current board of diluting the value of Amylin shares. He filed a lawsuit against the San Diego company in Delaware court.

Making Waves Against the Whale (WSJ)
A J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. trader whose massive derivatives sales in recent months earned him the nickname the “London whale” has stopped making those trades, for now. But investors that were squeezed in his earlier action remain engaged in high-stakes strategies against the trader. Dozens of hedge funds are believed to have placed bets in the derivatives markets that pit them against positions taken by Bruno Iksil, the French-born trader who works for the bank’s Chief Investment Office in London, according to people familiar with the matter.

Starboard to AOL: Patent Sale not Enough (CNBC)
Activist hedge fund Starboard Value, dissatisfied with AOL’s $1 billion deal to sell the majority of patents to Microsoft has filed with U.S. regulators for the nomination of three of its candidates to the board of the Internet firm. In a letter to the AOL board released on Tuesday, Starboard said that while it was pleased with the patent sale, it did not address “serious concerns” with the “poor operating performance” at AOL.

Icahn Said to Near Purchase of Harbinger Iron-Mine Stake (BloomBerg)
Billionaire investor Carl Icahn is nearing agreement to buy a stake in a closely held Brazilian iron ore mining company from Phil Falcone’s Harbinger Capital Partners LLC, according to four people familiar with the talks. Icahn is seeking to buy 14.9 percent in Ferrous Resources Ltd. (FER), three of the people said, declining to be identified as the discussions are confidential. He intends to pay $1.50 a share, partly in cash, which values the stake at about $180 million, one of the people said. Harbinger lost 47 percent for investors in its main fund last year as Falcone was forced to cut the value of his $3 billion investment in broadband wireless venture LightSquared Inc. by more than half. The hedge fund has been looking for a buyer for part of its 26 percent Ferrous stake since at least February to help pay down a loan from Jefferies Group Inc.

Oaktree Tests Private Equity IPO Appeal as Carlyle Looms (Bloomberg)
Oaktree Capital Group LLC (OAK), the world’s largest distressed-debt investor, is seeking to sell as much as $517.5 million in an initial public offering this week that will test investor appetite for private-equity firms before Carlyle Group (CG) LP’s planned IPO later this year.
…Chairman Howard Marks and President Bruce Karsh, two of Oaktree’s co-founders, are set to get almost 40 percent of the proceeds from the firm’s share sale, which may come as early as April 11. Marks and six partners from TCW Group Inc. started Oaktree in 1995. He and Karsh will each be paid about $101.9 million from the IPO, according to the March 30 filing.

Should You Bet on the Icahn-CVR Bout? (InvestorPlace)
Rising oil prices and booming natural gas production has drawn much attention to energy sector over the last few years — even if it’s not all wanted. While battles have raged over pipelines, gas prices and fracking rights, the latest game of cat-and-mouse stems from “activist” investor Carl Icahn’s bid to enter the refining business.

A Smart Options Play on Smartphones (Barrons)
Hedge-fund managers love Qualcomm. The company makes chips that power many smartphones, which makes the stock leveraged to the burgeoning growth of these devices. Now, as Qualcomm prepares to report fiscal second-quarter earnings on April 18, the options market is humming with bullish positioning and expectations of a new high stock price.

Hedge Funds Off to Good Start: Best in 6 Years (Inquisitr)
Hedge funds are looking for in 2012. They’re off to their best start since 2006, with the average gaining 4.94% in the first quarter according to information released on Monday. Despite early gains, the industry’s performance came in behind U.S. stocks, which posted their strongest first-quarter gains in over ten years this year. When Dow industrials ended the quarter, they were up 8.1%. The exceptional first-quarter performance clocks-in after three solid years of the industry slouching behind stock-market returns, with a more-or-less flat performance in March according to data released by Hedge Fund Research Inc.