…a premium to the book value of its equity, rare among megabanks in the current environment. The largest “new pick” in Buffett’s portfolio- although, in fact, many of Berkshire’s new investments are currently being made by Buffett’s designated successors- was $6.2 billion market cap engineering and construction services company Chicago Bridge & Iron Company N.V. (NYSE:CBI).
Activist Hedge Fund Jumps Into Toxic Twins Groupon And Zynga (Forbes)
Jana Partners, run by Barry Rosenstein, disclosed Wednesday that is took stakes in the pair during the first quarter. The 13F filing shows Jana holds 21.9 million shares in Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN) (about 3.3%) and 25.5 million shares in Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) (about 4.3%). The positions are not among Jana’s largest. Based on Wednesday morning prices — and both stocks were up sharply on news of the hedge fund’s involvement — the Groupon holding was worth nearly $161 million and the Zynga shares about $91 million.
Lampert’s RBS Hedge Fund Cuts Stake in Genworth, Sells Safeway (Bloomberg)
Edward Lampert, the billionaire chairman and chief executive officer of Sears Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ:SHLD), reported that he and his hedge fund cut a stake in Genworth Financial Inc (NYSE:GNW) by almost a third and sold its holdings in Big Lots, Inc. (NYSE:BIG) and grocer Safeway Inc. (NYSE:SWY). RBS Partners LP reduced its stake in Genworth to 8.4 million shares as of March 31, according to a filing today with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, down from 12.1 million at the end of last year. The fund, based in Bay Harbor, Florida, also sold its 1.4-million-share stake in Big Lots and its 845,000-share stake in Safeway.
Citi: Institutional hedge fund investments will climb to $2.3 trillion by 2017 (Pensions & Investments)
Global institutional investment in hedge funds will increase 56% to $2.3 trillion by year-end 2017 from the end of 2012, predicted researchers at Citi Prime Finance in a report released Wednesday. Institutional assets will account for 71% of global hedge fund industry assets as of the end of 2017, up from 66% as of Dec. 31, 2012, and 53% at the end of 2007, according to Citi’s report, “The Rise of Liquid Alternatives & the Changing Dynamics of Alternative Product Manufacturing and Distribution.” Hedge funds as a percentage of global defined benefit plan assets will rise to 5.3% at the end of 2017, compared with 4.2% at the end of 2012 and 3% as of Dec. 31, 2007, the report said.
Highbridge Alumnus’s North Asia Hedge Fund Trails Japan Rally (Bloomberg)
Arena Capital Offshore Fund, a Japan-focused hedge fund run by Highbridge Capital Management LLC alumnus Toby Bartlett, trailed its peers even as the nation’s stocks surged to the highest since 2008. The $44 million hedge fund, backed by a division of Man Group Plc (EMG), returned 2.6 percent this year through April, according to its April newsletter to investors seen by Bloomberg News. This year’s gain compares with the 8.8 percent return by the Eurekahedge Asia Hedge Fund Index and the 19 percent gain by the index that tracks Japan-focused funds.
Greenlight Takes About 5% Stake in Oil States International (Wall Street Journal)
David Einhorn’s hedge fund Greenlight Capital Inc. took a nearly 5% stake in Oil States International, Inc. (NYSE:OIS), a company he declared a target for shareholder activism last week. The hedge-fund manager, speaking at an industry investment conference, said he thinks the stock should be worth $118 a share and noted that another activist firm, Jana Partners, had filed a plan that could send shares even higher. Jana proposed that Oil States International spin out a business that provides lodging on energy sites into a real-estate investment trust, a move Mr. Einhorn could said could send the stock to $155 a share. Mr. Einhorn added he would be happy to let Jana handle the activist fight.