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Hedge Fund News: Stanley Druckenmiller, Carl Icahn & Christopher Hansen

Hologic adopts poison pill following Icahn’s ownership disclosure (BizJournals)
The board of directors at Hologic, Inc. (NASDAQ:HOLX), a manufacturer and supplier of diagnostic and medical imaging equipment, have adopted a poison pill intended to dissuade activist investors from building an ownership stake in the company of greater than 10 percent. According to the Associated Press, Hologic’s new plan will provide shareholders the right to acquire additional shares if and when a person or group acquires a 10 percent or greater share of the company’s outstanding common stock. The new shareholder right can be exercised as of Dec. 2. The move comes less than a week after takeover artist Carl Icahn disclosed that he and his affiliates had acquired a 13 percent stake in Hologic…

Carl Icahn as viking

Bitcoin Fund is best performing hedge fund year-to-date (HedgeWeek)
The Bitcoin Fund, which is traded exclusively on the EXANTE fund platform and was launched in late 2012, is the best performing hedge fund year to date with a return of 4847 per cent. The Bitcoin Fund gives institutions and high-net worth individuals secure and real-time access to the bitcoin market with a licensed, regulated product. Since the bitcoin virtual currency was first launched in 2009 and achieved its initial success, institutional investors and hedge fund managers have sought a regulated investment vehicle for bitcoin placements. EXANTE provided this solution by giving simple access to the Bitcoin Fund.

Elliott Associates sells 1% in Property Fund. (HispanicBusiness)
The largest shareholder in Romania’s restitution Property Fund [ Fondul Proprietatea ] – hedge fund Elliott Associates , has sold a 1% stake under the Fund’s recently completed buyback operation, news agency Mediafax reported. Elliott will thus cash in EUR 31.2mn. The Fund’s market capitalisation is EUR 2.5bn – but the buyback was carried out at a higher price per share. Elliott’s participation in the Fund will thus decrease to slightly above 17% from slightly above 18% before. Elliott controls the stake through Manchester Securities Corp and Beresford Energy Corp.

Ex-Soros Adviser’s Dalton China Fund Returns 25% This Year (SFGate)
The Dalton Greater China Fund, run by James Rosenwald III, a former adviser to funds linked to billionaire George Soros, beat peers with a 25 percent return this year, an investor newsletter seen by Bloomberg News showed. The $64 million fund outperformed the Eurekahedge Greater China Long-Short Equities Hedge Fund Index by almost 10 percentage points in the first 10 months. Bets on Taiwanese technology companies including Himax Technologies, Inc. (ADR) (NASDAQ:HIMX) and Hong Kong-based property developers drove performance, Tony Hsu, Rosenwald’s Shanghai-based co-manager, said in an e-mailed response to Bloomberg News queries.

Hedge Funds Have Been Getting Smoked This Year (BusinessInsider)
Not many people are able to invest directly in hedge funds. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Through Q3 of this year, hedge funds on average have returned a measly 6% year-to-date. This is according to Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS) latest Hedge Fund Trend Monitor report, which examines the performance of 783 hedge funds with $1.7 trillion of gross equity positions. This year’s hedge fund returns compare with a 25.3% gain in the S&P 500. Even mutual funds returned 24.8%.

Tiger Cub Christopher Hansen’s Valiant Catches A Break (InstitutionalInvestorsAlpha)
Tiger Cub Christopher Hansen seems to have stabilized his embattled hedge fund, Valiant Capital Partners Offshore, at least for now. Hansen’s firm, Valiant Capital Management, is based in San Francisco. Its global long-short hedge fund has made money in two of the past three months — including 0.77 percent in October — as well as in the third quarter after losing money for three straight quarters. This passes for a minor victory, although the fund did lag the major benchmarks in the September period.

Hedge fund exodus from sugar ‘has further to run’ (AgriMoney)
The hedge fund exodus from bets on rising sugar prices may not be over yet, even after one of the fiercest sell-downs on record, amid a broad turn bearish on agricultural commodities. Managed money, a proxy for speculators, cut its net long position in futures and options in the top 13 US-traded farm commodities by more than 78,000 contracts in the week to last Tuesday, according to data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission regulator.

Multiples don’t fall off until ‘real inflation’: Larry Robbins (CNBC)

Big hedge fund investor downgrades IBM, bets on Amazon (WralTechWire)
Stan Druckenmiller, who has one of the best track records in the hedge-fund industry over the past three decades, said he’s betting against shares of International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) while wagering on younger technology companies such as Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN). “IBM is old technology being replaced by cloud technology,” Druckenmiller, 60, said in an interview with Bloomberg TV’s Stephanie Ruhle at the Robin Hood Investors Conference in New York on Friday. “It’s one of the more higher- probability shorts I have seen in years.” Sales at the 102-year-old IBM have dropped for six straight quarters as the growth of services such as cloud computing have failed to make up for slowing demand for older businesses like hardware.

Frat brothers cheer on Cohen (NYPost)
Not everyone soured on hedge-fund billionaire Steve Cohen after his multibillion-dollar hedge fund copped to insider trading this month. Cohen’s frat brothers from the University of Pennsylvania chapter of Zeta Beta Tau cheered the hotshot hedgie just one day after his SAC Capital Advisors pleaded guilty to a decade of illegal trading that resulted in a record $1.2 billion fine, sources told On the Money. On Nov. 9, current and former ZBT members got together to break ground on planned renovations and an expansion to ZBT’s four-story frat house in Philly. The person they had to thank most of all for getting them there? “Brother Steve Cohen,” Class of ’78, sources said.

Why hedge funds still manage to attract (OmanObserver)
Hedge fund investor Hugh Culverhouse Jr says the $2.25 trillion industry was an easier place for wealthy individuals to make money a decade ago. Funds were smaller, returns were higher and managers did more to cultivate the support of those well-heeled individuals and families because large institutions like pension funds had yet to embrace the industry. “It was so simple [for managers] to leverage up and make a fortune,” said Culverhouse Jr, 64, a Miami-based trial attorney whose father owned the National Football League team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, from 1976 until the early 1990s. Shortly after his father’s death in 1994, Culverhouse Jr sold the team. Though he has money with Daniel Loeb’s $13 billion Third Point LLC, Culverhouse said he favours smaller, more nimble hedge funds that have more flexibility to trade and capitalise on different markets.

A Big, Dispassionate Bet on Europe’s Recovery (Barrons)
Stephen Roberts attributes a lot of his recent investment success to avoiding the passion—and occasional panic—of the markets. He used to keep to himself in the library-like offices of Horseman Capital Management in London. In 2011, he took it a step further. He bought a tranquil, manicured estate in the British tax haven of Jersey in the Channel Islands off the coast of France. Roberts wanted to “isolate” himself from the “noise and distraction” of the European financial centers of London, Frankfurt, Zurich, and Milan. As a rule, Roberts never visits a company he invests in or meets its managers…

Direct lending firm hits $3 billion as investors pile in (CNBC)
Amid still tight lending from traditional sources, direct lending is hot and Steve Czech is taking full advantage. The hedge fund firm he runs, Czech Asset Management, has just closed its second fund to new capital after raising $1.5 billion, according to a person familiar with the situation. Czech had originally sought $1 billion for the SJC Direct Lending Fund II but that was increased due to high demand. Investors—including public pensions in Michigan and South Carolina—asked to commit about $1.8 billion but were limited to the $1.5 billion maximum.

Hedge Fund Gold Bets Less Bullish as Paulson Holds: Commodities (Bloomberg)
Hedge funds got less bullish on gold, cutting their net-long position to a four-month low, before prices capped the biggest weekly retreat since September. Net holdings in futures and options tumbled 20 percent to 44,291 contracts in the week ended Nov. 19, the lowest since July 9, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show. Short bets rose 16 percent to the highest since Aug. 6 and long wagers slid 2.5 percent. Net-bullish wagers across 18 U.S.- traded commodities fell 12 percent as investors became the most bearish on copper since July and cut their silver holdings by the most in five months.

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