Greenbrier rejects Icahn offer again, says it is ‘unacceptable’ (Reuters)
U.S. railcar maker Greenbrier Companies Inc (NYSE:GBX) has yet again rejected a bid from American Railcar Industries Inc, controlled by activist investor Carl Icahn, saying the sweetened offer still undervalued the company. Greenbrier’s latest snubbing intensifies a takeover battle that was revived by Icahn after nearly five years. Icahn tried to merge the companies in 2008 but dropped the bid later that year, saying a combination was not possible due to “unresolved issues.” () On Wednesday, American Railcar increased its offer by 10 percent to $22 per share, valuing Greenbrier at $597 million, after Greenbrier rejected an earlier $20 per-share bid.
HFRX Global Hedge Fund Index gains +0.75% through mid-December (3.35% YTD) (Opalesque)
Global financial markets posted gains through mid-December 2012, as reflecting cautious optimism and improved investor sentiment with regard to political and macroeconomic uncertainty of the US fiscal cliff and the European banking and sovereign debt crisis. Equity markets posted gains across most regions, including US, European and Asian, with equities in China, other Emerging Markets and small cap posting the most significant gains. Most sectors also posted positive performance through mid-month, with gains in Financials and Telecom offsetting declines in Energy and Commodity related exposure. US treasury yields rose as the curve shifted upward across most maturities, while Gold posted declines, consistent with most other Metals. The Euro and British Pound gained against the US dollar on positive developments with regard to European bank risk oversight framework, however the Japanese Yen fell against the US dollar following Japanese elections and in expectation of additional BoJ stimulus. Oil and Natural Gas declined through mid-month, however most Agricultural commodities rose, with Cotton and Lumber leading gains.
Hedge fund exit requests jump after lacklustre year (Reuters)
Client demands to pull money out of hedge funds rose to their highest level in more than three years in December, at the end of a year that has left many investors disappointed with performance. Hedge fund administrator SS&C GlobeOp’s forward redemption indicator, a monthly snapshot of clients giving notice to withdraw their cash as a percentage of assets under administration, measured 6.19 percent in December.
Odey Opus Fund put on Hargreaves Lansdown’s Wealth 150 (Portfolio-Adviser)
Hargreaves Lansdown has added Crispin Odey’s £199.6m CF Odey Opus Fund to its Wealth 150 list of favourite funds. The fund has been included on the ranking after the manager’s Insynergy Odey Fund, which was previously on the Wealth 150, was closed and merged into the CF Odey Opus Fund. Richard Troue, investment analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Both funds are managed using a similar strategy so we are comfortable with this change.” Odey takes a contrarian approach and has populated his portfolio with bargain stocks that other investors have overlooked, the analyst noted.
Decision due today on order restraining bank over Doyle move (IrishTimes)
The High Court will decide today whether to continue an order restraining Bank of Scotland (BoS) selling to a hedge fund loans of some €67 million owed to it by a shipping firm here employing more than 300 people. The Doyle Group wants to refinance its BoS loans with Ulster Bank and claims the proposed sale to the Blue Bay fund would be “calamitous”.
The Hedge Fund Hunger Games (BusinessWeek)
The first idea that Tim Harrington, Brian Tomeo, and Spencer Deering had for a business was to gather up brand-new hedge funds and nurture them. They’d invite them to make use of their office in Miami Beach, where they could get advice, legal help, expensive software, and eventually an introduction to investors, with the three benefactors collecting a fee. The second idea, the one the trio went with, was the exact opposite. They would assemble the hedge funds and make them fight. This was back in April. The three had been introduced by mutual friends and colleagues over the years: Harrington, a 37-year-old with prematurely white hair who’d gone straight into hedge funds out of college, met Tomeo, 40, a broken-nosed former Princeton lacrosse champion, at a party not long after the latter left JPMorgan Chase (JPM) as a managing director in 2007.