Wildcat Capital Management Rides Kite Pharma Inc (KITE)’s Tide

Kite Pharma Inc (NASDAQ:KITE) spiked as much as 18% during Thursday’s intraday trading before closing 15.73% higher at $73.51. The price action was brought about by Kite’s latest purchase of privately held T-Cell Factory B.V. (TCF), which is located in Amsterdam. An upfront payment of $21 million to TCF’s shareholders, licensors and employees was made, $4 million of which was in Kite Pharma’s stock. Besides bringing  T-cell receptors (TCR) product platform to Kite’s portfolio, this deal also paves the way for Kite to build its presence in EU. One investor, who got a healthy bump in his portfolio value owing to this development was Leonard A. Potter of Wildcat Capital Management. His position in the company focused on the development and commercialization of cancer immunotherapy products comprised of some 2.36 million shares valued at $135.99 million at the end of last year.


Kite Pharma Inc (NASDAQ:KITE) held its IPO in June last year, and the stock is up by nearly 143% since then. Its new acquisition, TCF, discovers and develops tumor-specific TCRs for broad application in cancer using its proprietary TCR-GENErator platform. Kite’s own TCR-based product candidates include NY-ESO-1 operating against various tumors, HPV-16 E6 antigens against cervical and head and neck cancers and certain MAGE antigens against various tumors. Besides Wildcat, George Sors’ Soros Fund Management and Oleg Nodelman’s Ecor1 Capital held significant shares in Kite Pharma Inc (NASDAQ:KITE) amounting to 680,100 shares valued at $39.22 million and 438,400 shares valued at $25.28 million respectively at the end of 2014.

Before establishing Wildcat Capital Management in 2011, Potter worked for Salt Creek Hospitality for two years and Soros Fund Management for another six years. His experience in the finance industry spans more than 12 years. The fund which has nearly $1.03 billion assets under management provides investment advisory services to 25 clients. The firm filed its 13F form for the first time in 2014. The market value of Wildcat’s portfolio stood at $242.99 million at the end of the fourth quarter with 59% of the investments in the health care sector. Top ten holdings constituted nearly 99.52% of the portfolio value with Kite Pharma Inc (NASDAQ:KITE) being the most valuable stake, and was followed by CoStar Group Inc (NASDAQ:CSGP) and Dollar Tree, Inc. (NASDAQ:DLTR).

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CoStar Group Inc (NASDAQ:CSGP)‘s stake in Wildcat amounted to 291,400 shares valued at $53.52 million at the end of the fourth quarter. Comprising nearly 22% of the fund’s portfolio value, CSGP was Wildcat’s second largest holding. Among over 700 hedge funds that we track, the popularity of the stock fell during the fourth quarter as 21 held the stock in their portfolios versus 23 a quarter earlier. However, the aggregate investments increased to $251.23 million from $180.28 million during the same period.  Mariko Gordon’s Daruma Asset Management had the highest investment in the provider of information, analytics and marketing services to the commercial real estate industry in the United States and the United Kingdom, with 410,700 shares valued at $75.41 million.

Although CoStar Group Inc (NASDAQ:CSGP) is down by about 6.2% over the last year, the company posted impressive fourth quarter financial results. Earnings per Share (EPS) of $0.93 beat estimates by $0.05 and revenues of $156.1 million were also $1.99 million higher than expected.

Dollar Tree, Inc. (NASDAQ:DLTR) is an operator of discount variety stores offering merchandise at the fixed price of $ 1.00 in United States and Canada. Wildcat’s third largest holding constituted 229,900 shares valued at $16.18 million. Nearly 63 hedge funds had parked $2.91 billion in the company during the fourth quarter as compared to 61 funds with $2.61 billion a quarter earlier. This included 8 billionaires with $907.88 million invested in the company. One of them was Andreas Halvorsen’s Viking Global with about 7.2 million shares valued at $506.13 million.

Dollar Tree, Inc. (NASDAQ:DLTR) has appreciated by nearly 57.7% over the last year and also posted strong results for the fourth quarter. While EPS of $0.93 beat estimates by $0.05, revenues of $156.1 million also came in $1.99  million higher.

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