Tom Sandell’s Sandell Asset Management Bought $MSSR

Thomas SandellTom Sandell’s Sandell Asset Management reported its 5.2% passive stake in Mccormick & Schmicks Seafood Restaurants Inc. (MSSR) on December 7th. According to the firm’s filing, Sandell Asset Management now has approximately 774 thousand shares in MSSR. This is a new position in the firm’s portfolio since it did not report MSSR in its third quarter 13F filing. MSSR has several large price deviations in 2011. The stock closed at $8.70 on Thursday, slightly losing 3% in 2011.

According to Insider Monkey’s hedge fund tracking list, as of September 30th, five hedge funds had MSSR in their portfolios. Chuck Royce’s Royce & Associates took the most shares among the five, with 526 thousand shares. This position was unchanged from the second quarter. Cliff Asness’ AQR Capital Management took the second and reported 472 thousand shares in its position. Clint Carlson’s Carlson Capital decreased its position by 7% and retained 458 thousand shares in MSSR. Several hedge funds sold out their MSSR positions during the third quarter, including Jim Simons’ Renaissance Technologies, Bruce Kovner’s Caxton Associates LP, David Keidan’s Buckingham Capital Management, and Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group.

According to the firm’s official website, Sandell Asset Management Corp. is “a leading, private, alternative asset manager specializing in international, event driven, multi-strategy investing with a strong focus on global risk arbitrage, equity special situations and credit opportunities. The Firm was founded in 1998 by Tom Sandell and has offices in New York and London; including a global staff of investment professionals, traders and infrastructure specialists. Each Sandell location is supported by a locally-based, international research team.”

According to Google Finance, McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants, Inc. “is a seafood restaurant owner and operator in the affordable upscale dining segment. As of December 29, 2010, the Company had 96 restaurants, including 89 restaurants in the United States of which one is operated pursuant to a management agreement, and seven restaurants in Canada under the Boathouse name. The Company’s menu is printed daily and includes a selection of international, national, regional and local varieties of seafood. Its signature Fresh list displayed at the top of its daily-printed menus, features 20 to 30 varieties of fresh seafood, based on seasonality, product availability, price and guest preferences. It also offers several alternatives to seafood, including beef, creative salads and fresh pasta dishes.”