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Hedge Fund News: Michael Vranos, ValueAct Capital, Elliott Management

Vranos’s Ellington Hires Stohr to Bolster Distressed-Debt Team (Bloomberg)
Michael Vranos’s hedge fund Ellington Management Group has hired former GoldenTree Asset Management money manager Dale Stohr to boost its credit team. Stohr joined the hedge fund this week on the credit team, according to Mark Heron, the head of distressed debt at Ellington. Stohr led the U.S. distressed-debt team at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc before joining GoldenTree in 2014, where his role also included research.


ValueAct to Pay Record $11 Million to Settle Antitrust Lawsuit (The Wall Street Journal)
ValueAct Capital Management LP agreed to pay a record $11 million fine to settle a Justice Department lawsuit over the activist hedge fund’s disclosure of two investments. The settlement, announced by the government Tuesday, comes three months after it accused ValueAct of failing to seek antitrust clearance for its purchases of about $2.5 billion in shares of Baker Hughes Inc. and Halliburton Co. in 2014. The oil-field-services providers had announced plans to merge before the government blocked the move on antitrust grounds. The lawsuit sought as much as $19 million, based on the maximum fine of $16,000 a day. That ceiling is set to go up to $40,000 a day.

Imperva Said to Be Working With Qatalyst to Explore a Sale (Bloomberg)
Imperva Inc., the cybersecurity company targeted by activist investor Elliott Management Corp., hired Qatalyst Partners to explore a sale after receiving unsolicited takeover interest, people with knowledge of the matter said. Several potential strategic buyers expressed interest in Imperva, prompting the company to interview banks and authorize a sale process, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Imperva ultimately hired Qatalyst, the people said, a boutique advisory firm that specializes in technology deals. Last month, Elliott disclosed in a 13D filing that it had amassed 9.8 percent of Redwood Shores, California-based Imperva and started a dialogue with the company’s board about “strategic and operational opportunities.” As of June 28, Elliott had increased its stake to 10.9 percent, according to a regulatory filing.

Sage’s Drug For Postpartum Depression Succeeds In Mid-Stage Study (Reuters)
Sage Therapeutics Inc said its lead drug alleviated symptoms of severe postpartum depression, meeting the main goal of a small mid-stage study and sending the company’s shares soaring in morning trading. About one in seven women experience postpartum depression (PPD), a severe form of “baby blues” that eventually interferes with her ability to take care of the baby and handle daily tasks, according to the American Psychological Association. Sage is also evaluating the drug for use in super refractory status epilepticus (SRSE), a life-threatening seizure disorder, as well as essential tremor. Hedge fund Kerrisdale Capital said earlier this year that it had shorted the stock, expecting SAGE-547 to fail a key late-stage study involving patients with SRSE.

Ex-Soros, Blue Pool Executives Said to Start Fund of Funds (Bloomberg)
Kieran Cavanna, who ran external investments for billionaire George Soros’s family office until last year, started a fund of hedge funds that will focus on equities and macroeconomic trends, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. Cavanna, who is chief investment officer, and two co-founders started Old Farm Partners on June 1 with about $65 million under management, the person said. Nishi Shah, a former analyst at Soros Fund Management for almost nine years, leads research at the firm and Barry Purcell, a former partner at Blue Pool Capital, is president and chief operating officer.

Monster Bet on ‘Pokémon Go’ to Pay Off for Hong Kong Fund Manager (The Wall Street Journal)
A monster bet by a Hong Kong-based hedge-fund manager is paying off with the “Pokémon Go” sensation. Seth Fischer’s Oasis Management Co. stands to make tens of millions of dollars after a three-year campaign to push Nintendo Co. into mobile gaming. The success of “Pokémon Go,” a new smartphone game part-owned by Nintendo, has boosted the Japanese company’s shares by more than 50% in the past week, adding over $10 billion to its market capitalization.

Hedge-Fund Investors Dump Laggards, 84% Redeem in First Half (Bloomberg)
Running an underperforming hedge fund? Your clients are noticing. Eighty-four percent of investors in hedge funds pulled money in the first half of the year, and 61 percent said they will probably make withdrawals later this year, according to a Credit Suisse Group AG study released Tuesday. The main driver among those who redeemed: their fund underperformed. The survey, which polled more than 200 allocators with almost $700 billion invested in hedge funds, found that most were redirecting their money to other managers, rather than exiting the asset class altogether. Only 9 percent said they weren’t planning to reinvest the money they pulled in other hedge funds.

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