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Hedge Fund News: Kyle Bass, Barry Rosenstein & Crispin Odey

Inside Kyle Bass’s Favorite Mortgage Servicer Play (InstitutionalInvestorsAlpha)
These days it’s difficult to miss Kyle Bass, the founder of Hayman Capital Management, trumpeting Nationstar Mortgage Holdings Inc (NYSE:NSM). The Dallas-based hedge fund manager is betting against a New York State government inquiry and on the recovery of a stock that went public two years ago but has since dropped 45 percent off its high last September. Bass is being contrarian when it comes to Nationstar; other hedge fund managers shrank their stakes last year. Bass might just be onto something: Nationstar is a former hot momentum play that has matured into a value stock but has been beaten down by regulatory concerns…

Kyle Bass

Political Donors Hit Up for More Money Hours After Court Ruling (NewsMax)
Within hours of a U.S. Supreme Court decision paving the way for a new gusher of political cash, Ben Barnes’s telephone starting ringing. He and his daughters had already given the maximum amount for this year’s congressional elections to candidates and committees under federal law. After that donation cap was overturned in a 5-4 court ruling issued by the justices yesterday, Barnes found himself on the telephone with two Texas Democratic members of Congress seeking more money. …For example, billionaire former hedge-fund manager Tom Steyer has pumped $11 million this year and last into a super- PAC he formed to help Democratic candidates interested in environmental issues.

Investcorp Joins Rush to Invest in European Distressed Debt (NYTimes)
Investcorp, an investment firm based in Bahrain, made a splash investing in European luxury brands like Gucci and George Jensen. Now it is making a play for distressed investments by partnering with the hedge fund Eyck Capital Management. Through its $5 billion hedge fund arm, Investcorp has agreed to put $50 million to $100 million of capital behind a fund started by Khing Oei, a former managing principal at Halcyon and founder of Eyck Capital. Investcorp is joining many other hedge funds and private equity firms looking for opportunities to scoop up European companies slowly emerging from a continentwide financial crisis.

Steben & Company launches registered multi-strategy fund of hedge funds (HedgeWeek)
Alternative investments provider Steben & Company has launched a new fund of hedge funds, the Steben Select Multi-Strategy Fund. “For 25 years, Steben has built its reputation on our ability to select and screen what we believe are some of the best alternative investment managers from around the world,” says Ken Steben, president and chief executive officer. “The Steben Select Multi-Strategy Fund brings together multiple top tier hedge fund managers whose historical performance has low correlation to both traditional investments and a number of other alternative investment styles in one easily accessible product under the oversight of our highly experienced research and risk management team.”

Sports Direct forced to cancel AGM after shareholder revolt (Standard)
Sports Direct has been forced by shareholders to scrap its annual general meeting, which had been planned to take place on Friday. The meeting, which was called last month to approve the executive bonus share scheme, has been shrouded in controversy over founder Mike Ashley’s proposed £66m bonus. Ashley currently receives no salary or bonus from the retailer. …At the time it was reported that the largest institutional shareholder – the hedge fund manager Crispin Odey, who has a 7.3 per cent stake – had indicated that he would vote to approve the package.

Why Micron Technology Might Be Able To Continue Its Absurd Growth (Investing)
Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU) is set to report FQ2 2014 earnings after the market closes Thursday, April 3rd. Micron Technology is an American semiconductor company which has been all over the news lately. MIcron received a ton of attention in March when a pseudonymous blogger on Seeking Alpha allegedly leaked that hedge fund manager David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital had added a position in the company. Einhorn has since announced that he has identified the leaker and has handled the matter privately.

Chanos: Why I’m short Sotheby’s (CNBC)

March proves a choppy end to a positive quarter for hedge funds (HedgeWeek)
Anthony Lawler, portfolio manager at GAM, notes that despite slightly negative returns for many hedge funds during March the first quarter was positive for three of the four main hedge fund strategies. Managers continue to find opportunities created by dispersion across asset classes and markets. “We continue to be positive on the opportunity set for hedge funds given the dispersion we are seeing within asset classes such as equities, and also the divergence in growth and monetary policy paths around the world,” says Lawler.

MICHAEL LEWIS: David Einhorn Was Basically A ‘Dumb Tourist’ In A Casino (Businessinsider)
Michael Lewis is getting tons of attention for his new book “Flash Boys,” which questions the murky world of high-frequency trading. Lewis concludes that the stock market is rigged, and it hurts both amateur and professional investors. Appearing on Bloomberg TV this morning, Lewis and anchors Stephanie Ruhle and Erik Schatzker lassos in famed hedge fund manager David Einhorn. …It’s worth noting that Einhorn is one of the most accomplished poker players Wall Street has ever seen. So he’d probably take issue with anyone who characterizes him as a dumb card-player or duped fund manager.

SoFi Closes On $80 Million To Expand Its Lending Business (TechCrunch)
Confirming our earlier reporting, the peer-to-peer lender Social Finance said it closed on $80 million in fresh funding, as it looks to expand its lending operations to mortgages and personal loans. The new round was led by the hedge fund Discovery Capital Management and included commitments from Wicklow Capital and the billionaire investor Peter Thiel — who is perhaps as famous for his stance against the necessity of a college education as he is for his investments. Previous investors, Renren, Baseline Ventures, and DCM also participated in the new financing.

George Soros’ real crusade: Legalizing marijuana in the U.S. (WashingtonTimes)
Billionaire philanthropist George Soros hopes the U.S. goes to pot, and he is using his money to drive it there. With a cadre of like-minded, wealthy donors, Mr. Soros is dominating the pro-legalization side of the marijuana debate by funding grass-roots initiatives that begin in New York City and end up affecting local politics elsewhere. Through a network of nonprofit groups, Mr. Soros has spent at least $80 million on the legalization effort since 1994, when he diverted a portion of his foundation’s funds to organizations exploring alternative drug policies, according to tax filings.

Jana Partners Rolls On Despite a Setback in March (InstitutionalInvestorsAlpha)
Barry Rosenstein’s Jana Partners suffered a setback in March. The New York hedge fund firm, which often takes high-profile activist positions, lost 1.5 percent in the month, cutting its gain for the first quarter to 1.7 percent. Since its April 2001 inception, Jana Partners has more than quadrupled the return of the Standard & Poor’s 500 index. The firm manages more than $9 billion. The Jana Nirvana Fund, a concentrated version of Jana Partners launched in April 2007 to co-invest in select ideas of Jana Master Fund, lost 2.3 percent in March and is now up 2.7…

Wausau Paper CEO resigns, board chairman retires (Chippewa)
The chief executive at Wausau Paper Corp. (NYSE:WPP) has resigned and will be replaced by a CEO favored by investors interested in selling the company. President and CEO Henry “Hank” Newell will also step down from the company’s board of directors. Wausau Paper says board chairman Thomas Howatt will retire. Daily Herald Media (http://wdhne.ws/1hjYo94 ) says Wausau Paper has been under pressure from a New York hedge fund, Starboard Value LP, which has repeatedly sent letters to other shareholders expressing a lack of confident in the company’s management.

Recommended Reading:

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Royce & Associates’ Latest Moves: Matrix Service Co (MTRX) and Cache, Inc. (CACH)

Whitebox Advisors Closes Stake in Cash America International Inc (CSH)

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