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Hedge Fund News: Nelson Peltz, Daniel Och, John Paulson

DuPont to Add 2 New Directors, but None From Peltz’s Slate (New York Times)
DuPont plans to change the lineup of its board members — but won’t draw from the nominees proposed by the activist investor Nelson Peltz. The chemical maker said on Thursday that it would replace two of its existing directors with people of its own choosing, after what it said was a rebuffed attempt to settle a fight with Mr. Peltz’s hedge fund, Trian Fund Management. DuPont will add Edward D. Breen, the chairman of Tyco, and James L. Gallogly, a former chief executive of the chemical maker LyondellBasell.


Och-Ziff Fourth-Quarter Profit Falls 54% on Lower Fees (Bloomberg)
Och-Ziff Capital Management Group LLC, the hedge fund firm run by Daniel Och, said fourth-quarter profit fell 54 percent on lower performance fees. Distributable profit, a measure excluding some costs related to Och-Ziff’s 2007 initial public offering, decreased to $255.4 million, or 50 cents a share, from $559 million, or $1.15, a year earlier, the New York-based company said today in a statement. Earnings per share beat the 34-cent average estimate of eight analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Paulson & Co. Distressed Partner Kamensky Exits Hedge Fund (Bloomberg)
Dan Kamensky, a partner at Paulson & Co., has left billionaire John Paulson’s hedge fund firm. Kamensky, who joined $17.8 billion Paulson & Co. in 2009, played a key role in some of the firm’s most profitable bankruptcy investments, including Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and Residential Capital LLC. “Dan Kamensky decided to leave Paulson to pursue new opportunities,” Paulson & Co. said today in a statement. “Dan contributed to successful distressed debt investments for the firm. We wish him the best in his new endeavors.”

Japan Tobacco To Buy Back Shares, As Investor Presses For Cash Back (Reuters)
Japan Tobacco is buying back its own shares worth up to 100 billion yen ($852.73 million) and paying investors a higher annual dividend, citing a goal of boosting shareholder returns. The moves represent a partial nod by Japan Tobacco to demands by activist investor the Children’s Investment Fund (TCI), the company’s second-biggest shareholder, which has been pressing for a return of cash to shareholders. TCI, run by star hedge fund manager Chris Hohn, is also seeking an year-end dividend of 150 yen per share. The buyback and dividend demands will be put to voting at Japan Tobacco’s shareholders’ meeting scheduled in late March.

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