Hedge Fund News: Israel Englander, BlackRock, Inc. (BLK), Transocean LTD (RIG)

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Editor’s Note: Related tickers: BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE:BLK), Transocean LTD (NYSE:RIG), Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL), iShares Gold Trust (NYSEARCA:IAU), The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG), MBIA Inc. (NYSE:MBI), Hess Corp. (NYSE:HES), General Electric Company (NYSE:GE)

Millennium Management, Catapult Capital ManagementI.A. Englander and Co.’s Managed Accounts and Prime Services (Ma&Ps) Division Expands Operations to Palm Beach County, Fla. (WSJ)
Israel A. Englander and Co. today announced that its Managed Accounts & Prime Services (MA&PS) division, the first and only technology platform offering powerful solutions for emerging hedge fund managers and investors, has expanded its footprint to Palm Beach County, Fla. Brett Langbert, Managing Director, Head of Sales, is in charge of MA&PS’ newly opened Palm Beach office, where he will be dividing his time between this office and MA&PS’ New York office. MA&PS also has an office in Santa Monica, Calif. MA&PS’ clients include emerging hedge funds, fund of funds, family offices, pension funds, endowments, and managed account platform providers.

Dell committee asks Icahn for more information (Reuters)
The special committee of Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL)‘s board of directors on Monday asked Carl Icahn for more details on the activist investor’s proposed offer for the computer maker. Last week Icahn and Southeastern Asset Management Inc challenged Michael Dell’s $24.4 billion bid to take Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) private with an offer of $21 billion in cash. But in a letter to Icahn, the committee said it was not clear if he intended to make “an actual acquisition proposal that the Board could evaluate” or if he intended his offer as an alternative in the event the pending sale to Silver Lake and Michael Dell is not approved.

Gold Bears Pull $20.8 Billion as BlackRock Says Buy (Bloomberg)
Hedge funds increased bets on lower gold prices after investors pulled a record $20.8 billion from bullion funds this year while BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE:BLK), the world’s biggest money manager, said it’s still bullish. Speculators held 67,374 so-called short contracts on May 7, 6.4 percent more than a week earlier, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show. The net-long position dropped 10 percent to 49,260 futures and options. Net-bullish wagers across 18 U.S.-traded raw materials climbed 5.8 percent to 582,265, with gains for cocoa, cotton and hogs. …The metal helps diversify portfolios, BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE:BLK)’s Kapito said in an interview with Tom Keene on “Bloomberg Surveillance.” Kapito said he would “still be a buyer of these short-term technical blips.” BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE:BLK) is the top investor in the iShares Gold Trust (NYSEARCA:IAU).

Transocean Chairman Talbert to Step Down Amid Fight With Icahn (BusinessWeek)
Transocean LTD (NYSE:RIG), the world’s largest offshore oil rig contractor, said Chairman Michael Talbert plans to step down as the company fights board nominees from billionaire investor Carl Icahn. Talbert will give up his position as chairman by November and retire from the board by the 2014 shareholder meeting if re-elected at the company’s annual meeting on May 17, Vernier, Switzerland-based Transocean LTD (NYSE:RIG) said today in a statement. Talbert has been on the Transocean LTD (NYSE:RIG) board since 1994 and was chief executive officer until 2002. …Icahn, who holds a 5.6 percent stake in Transocean LTD (NYSE:RIG), called on the company in January to issue a $4-a-share dividend and is seeking to replace three board members, including Talbert. Transocean LTD (NYSE:RIG) has proposed a $2.24-per-share dividend after not issuing one last year as it sought to maintain an investment grade credit rating and a “strong, flexible balance sheet” while reducing the value of its businesses.

Bill Ackman’s Big Presentation On Why Procter & Gamble Is ‘One Of The Great Businesses Of The World’ (BusinessInsider)
Activist investor Bill Ackman, who runs $12 billion Pershing Square Capital Management, made a bullish case for The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) at the Sohn Investment Conference this week. Ackman, whose fund owns more than 27.9 million shares of The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG), called it “one of the great businesses of the world.” Basically, Ackman believes the company is under-earning relative to its intrinsic earnings power. He sees the company’s earnings per share growing from $4 to $6. If the company is able to reach this earnings potential of $6 per share, Ackman also sees the company being able to achieve an intrinsic value of $125 per share in approximately two years. The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG)’s stock was last trading above $78.59 per share.

Mortgages are investment du jour for hedge funds (CNN)
In less than five years, mortgages have gone from toxic to tonic. It’s the same life span as the annual hedge fund conference SALT, where many of the top professional managers met last week to talk investments, hear speeches from luminaries like Al Pacino and generally have a good time. In all, Las Vegas SALT, officially the Skybridge Alternatives Conference, drew 1,800 attendees — hedge funders, but also accountants, lawyers and others who service the industry. The conference wrapped up on Friday with an appearance from Oliver Stone and a pool party. This year, what people seemed to be talking about more than anything else on the investment panels and in the hallways was the mortgage market.

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