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Hedge Fund News: Thomas Steyer, David Einhorn & Carl Icahn

Calif. Billionaire Plans $100 Million Climate Change Campaign (WAMC)
Tom Steyer, a billionaire retired hedge-fund investor, is aiming to spend $100 million to make climate change a priority issue in this year’s midterm elections. As the New York Times reported Tuesday, the Democrat is working to raise $50 million from donors to add to $50 million of his own money to bankroll his San Francisco-based political organization, NextGen Climate Action. According to the Times, the money will be used for attack ads during the election, including the Florida governor’s race and the Iowa Senate race.

FARALLON CAPITAL

Einhorn sounds cautious tone about stock market (LATimes)
David Einhorn, the founder of hedge fund Greenlight Capital is going after anonymous blogger “Valuable Insights” who posts on the financial website ValueWalk. Einhorn filed a lawsuit seeking to identify the financial blogger in order to sue him or her. The hedge fund had wanted to keep its trades confidential so no one else would buy the sought-after stock, apparently blogging about it rose the stock price, frustrating and angering the hedge fund giant. ValueWalk reports that: Sometime prior to 9:32 AM on November 14, 2013, Valuable Insights posted “Expect one mega hedge fund rock star to show up as [Micron] holder today, not Ackman, Icahn or Loeb . . . .”

Hedge fund moves from California to Miami (BizJournals)
Hedge fund Universa Investments is moving from Santa Monica, Calif. to Miami’s Coconut Grove neighborhood. The move is the first big win for the Miami Downtown Development Authority’s push to lure hedge funds and private equity groups from high-tax states such as California and New York. Universa Investments is led by founder and CIO Mark Spitznagel, who is a noted libertarian and the author of The Dao of Capital, which makes a case against government intervention in capital markets. The forward is by libertarian former Congressman Ron Paul.

Hedge fund claims loss of investors’ confidence in Wausau Paper board (JSOnline)
The largest shareholder of Wausau Paper Corp. (NYSE:WPP), a hedge fund that already has compelled the 115-year-old paper maker to close and sell its Wisconsin operations, increased pressure this week by claiming that other shareholders have lost patience with Wausau’s management and performance. “The time has come for real change at Wausau Paper Corp.,” read the latest public letter from Starboard Value LP, the New York investment house. “While management continues to miss its targets and attempts to lower expectations, shareholders have been voicing their disappointment with the status quo and their support for change,” according to the four-page Starboard letter…

Soros betting against stocks? Not likely (KSPR)
Hedge fund heavyweight George Soros appears to be making a billion dollar bet against the stock market. But looks can be deceiving. Tongues have been wagging on Wall Street since Soros Fund Management revealed in a quarterly filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Friday that his fund owned 7 million “puts” on the S&P 500 exchange traded fund in the fourth quarter. Puts are essentially a bet that the price of an asset will go down. The total value of the “puts” as of the filing date was $1.3 billion.

Hedge Fund Pours Scorn On ‘Desperate’ Jos. A. Bank-Eddie Bauer Deal (Finalternatives)
Eminence Capital wants to see Jos. A. Bank Clothiers merge—but not with the partner Jos. A. Bank favors. The New York-based hedge fund yesterday blasted Bank’s proposed takeover of outdoor clothing retailer Eddie Bauer as a move that “almost surely destroys shareholder value.” Eminence said the $825 million deal was nothing but a “desperate tactic” on the part of Jos. A. Bank’s management to stave off a takeover. And a takeover is exactly what Eminence wants to see, but by The Men’s Wearhouse, Inc. (NYSE:MW). The hedge fund has sued Jos. A. Bank for rejecting that company’s $1.6 billion approach, and to block it from doing something exactly like the Eddie Bauer deal.

‘Probably too late’ to buy US stocks: Marc Faber (CNBC)

Blackstone Buys Minority Stake in Senator Hedge-Fund Firm (BusinessWeek)
The Blackstone Group L.P. (NYSE:BX)’s Tom Hill wants to dominate the $2.6 trillion hedge-fund industry. The firm, already the largest allocator in hedge funds, is setting its sights on buying stakes in the money managers. Senator Investment Group LP, a $6.7 billion firm, told clients yesterday that Blackstone bought a minority piece of its business, less than a week after Hill, who runs the New York-based firm’s $56 billion hedge-fund group, outlined his ambitions for that strategy. Blackstone, the world’s biggest manager of alternative assets, struck the agreement with Senator, its first such investment, as it seeks to raise $3 billion for similar purchases.

Carl Icahn Has Made Another $643 Million On His Forest Labs Stake Today (BusinessInsider)
The $25 billion deal for drug-maker Actavis acquiring Forest Laboratories is another massive win for billionaire investor Carl Icahn. “We were extremely pleased with the announcement this morning that Forest Labs is to be acquired by Actavis in a transaction that values Forest at approximately $89.48 per share,” Icahn said in a statement. According to Icahn’s latest 13F filing, he held 30,662,005 shares of Forest Labs as of December 31, 2013. Today, the stock has risen more than 29%, or about $21, putting the stock price at about $92.43 per share.

Jim Rogers tells us what everyone is getting wrong about China (FinancialPost)
Concerns about a Chinese hard-landing set off by Beijing’s efforts to deflate the credit bubble are making headlines again. GDP growth slowed to 7.7% in 2013, the lowest level in 14 years. And the slowdown has played a part in the emerging markets rout we have seen recently. But recent trade and lending data, and Lunar New Year sales have come in better than expected. We reached out to Jim Rogers, chairman of Rogers Holdings , to get his thoughts on the slowdown and on what everyone is getting wrong about China. Rogers told us that we shouldn’t be very concerned about the slowdown in the Chinese economy. However, he does worry about China’s debt at the local levels.

Analyst Charged With Stealing Quant Trading Models From Major Hedge Fund (Forbes)
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., has accused a former analyst of stealing documents that detailed the methods and application of two trading models from a major New York hedge fund that specializes in quantitative trading. Kang Gao, a 28-year-old who until recently worked as a quantitative analyst at Two Sigma Investments, was arrested last week and charged by the Manhattan District Attorney of felony offenses, including computer trespass, criminal possession of computer related material and unauthorized use of secret scientific material…

Einhorn: Don’t be fooled by companies beating estimates (InvestmentNews)
Hedge-fund manager David Einhorn cautioned against betting on the extension of a U.S. stock- market rally that he said was fueled by conditions that are difficult to sustain. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index surged 30% last year. The rally strengthened in the fourth quarter as 74%of companies beat analysts’ estimates during the earnings season that ended in November. The equity benchmark is little changed this year after recovering from January declines. “In 2013, the market rewarded many companies for beating earnings after they had lowered guidance,” Mr. Einhorn Wednesday during a conference call discussing results at Greenlight Capital Re Ltd., the Cayman Islands-based reinsurer where he is chairman. “This trend is not likely to continue indefinitely.”

Recommended Reading:

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Lance Helfert and Paul Orfalea’s Top Holdings and Latest Sales

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