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Hedge Fund News: Carl Icahn, John Burbank, George Soros

The Herbalife Saga Is ‘Far From Over’ (Yahoo Finance)
The Herbalife saga is “far from over,” according to Ted Braun, the director of “Betting On Zero” — a documentary that chronicles hedge fund manager Bill Ackman’s billion-dollar wager against the multilevel marketing company. “If you’re looking at the nature of his accusations — the FTC’s settlement — the court order as well as the complaint — is a resounding endorsement of everything Ackman has been saying over the last three years,” Braun told Yahoo Finance. For more than three-and-a-half years, Ackman, the CEO of $12 billion hedge fund Pershing Square Capital, has been crusading against Herbalife (HLF). In late December 2012, he publicly declared that he was short $1 billion worth of Herbalife and that the stock would go to $0.

Steinhoff Raises Bid For Poundland, Hedge Fund Adds Stake (Reuters)
South African retailer Steinhoff (SNHG.DE) raised its agreed offer for Britain’s Poundland to 610 million pounds ($790 million) and said the revised terms were final, challenging investor Elliott Capital to back the deal or risk its collapse. Poundland’s board had recommended an earlier 597-million-pound offer from Steinhoff, which holds 23.6 percent of the British discounter’s share capital, on July 13. A day later activist U.S. hedge fund Elliott revealed it held 13.2 percent of the company, sending its shares higher on the expectation that Steinhoff would have to sweeten its bid. Elliott has since increased its Poundland holding to 17.5 percent, making it the company’s second largest investor.

Billionaire Bacon Can’t Sue Nygard in N.Y. Over Bahamas Feud (Bloomberg)
Billionaire fund manager Louis Bacon lost another battle in his decade-long feud with Canadian clothing magnate Peter Nygard over their neighboring properties in the Bahamas as a New York judge threw out Bacon’s defamation lawsuit claiming he was forced to flee the island nation. After an appeals court last month upheld the dismissal of claims over most of 135 statements Bacon said were part of Nygard’s harassment campaign, state court Justice Cynthia Kern on Wednesday threw out the rest, saying the case should be heard in the Bahamas because the dispute arose from their relationship as neighbors.

Hedge Funds Face New Blow as $83 Billion Pension Cuts Them Out (Bloomberg)
Danish pension fund PFA says it has found a way to boost returns in a world of ultra-low yields: cut out middle men like hedge fund managers and do it yourself. “Part of our new strategy is to do more investments directly instead of via specialized funds,” said Christian Lage, who helps oversee about $83 billion in pension savings as co-chief investment officer at PFA in Copenhagen. “Fund structures are typically very expensive and as yields have come down, the focus on costs has increased quite remarkably.” Most pension funds and insurers rely on third-party fund managers to handle their investments in alternative assets. With low and negative interest rates weighing on returns, cutting those costs has become more compelling.

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