Hedge Fund News: Carl Icahn, Daniel Loeb, Wausau Paper Corp (WPP)

Carl Icahn, who failed to find a buyer for oil processor CVR Energy, Inc.(NYSE:CVI) after taking over the company last year, is poised to almost double his $2 billion investment with the initial public offering of the company’s refineries today. CVR Refining LP (CVRR), which is seeking as much as $520 million in the IPO, would become at least the third refiner in the past year to sell its plants to the public and distribute operating profits to investors. CVR Refining, a master-limited partnership, is scheduled to offer 20 million units today for $24 to $26 each, the Sugar Land, Texas-based partnership said in a regulatory filing.
Dow Jones Credit Suisse Hedge Fund Index up 1.48 per cent in December (HedgeWeek)
The Dow Jones Credit Suisse Hedge Fund Index finished up 1.48 per cent for the month of December. Nine of the 10 sub-strategies finished the month in positive territory with emerging markets (2.38 per cent) and event driven (1.98 per cent) leading the way. Dedicated short bias was the only sub-strategy to see negative returns at -2.95 per cent over the month.
Mariner Investment Group is taking over the investment teams and operations of multi-strategy hedge fund Concordia Advisors. Concordia manages around $1 billion in relative value-oriented strategies in the interest rate, credit and equity markets. The company's 18 investment professionals, led by CEO Basil Williams, will join Mariner following the merger, with Williams becoming Mariner's deputy chief investment officer.
Closed-end fund iCapital.biz Bhd, which fended off a takeover bid by European hedge fund Laxey Partners Ltd recently, is still an interest to City of London Investment Management Co Ltd. The UK-based fund manager, which is seen to be aligned to Laxey, has quietly accumulated iCapital.biz shares since last year and is now estimated to own 7.5% of the Malaysian company. Last November, the fund manager had 6.45% of iCapital.biz, but has gradually increased that portion through a number of purchases, including the latest yesterday for about 10.5 million shares.
John Kinnucan, the expert-networker who refused to cooperate in a U.S. probe of insider trading before admitting to passing tips to hedge-fund clients, was sentenced to four years and three months in prison. U.S. District Judge Deborah Batts in Manhattan yesterday rejected arguments by Kinnucan’s lawyers that his actions stemmed from alcohol abuse triggered by the stress of being the target of a federal crackdown on insider trading. Defense lawyer Jennifer Brown also said Kinnucan, the founder of Broadband Research LLC, suffered from an addiction to gambling in the stock market.
Wausau Paper Corp. (NYSE:WPP) and the hedge fund that controls much of their stock is continuing to criticize each other. Monday, Starboard Value publicly criticized the management of Wausau Paper for its decision to put the Mosinee, Rhinelander, and Brainerd Minnesota mills up for sale as they shift their focus to the more profitable tissue market. Starboard officials accused Wausau Paper’s Chairman of the Board Tom Howatt of acting in bad faith and for having a strategy to sell off underperforming paper mills. Wausau Paper fired back Tuesday. The Board of Directors sent Starboard Value’s Managing Member Jeffrey Smith a letter, and released it to the media as well.
Hitachi International Electric Pension Fund has gradually introduced a number of new strategies via private equity, non-life insurance and hedge funds in line with its plan to expand its alternative investments from this fiscal year. Its new policy asset mix in April 2012 lowered its allotment to domestic and foreign stocks and more than doubled its alternative investment ratio from 10% to 23%, aiming to raise the efficiency of its overall portfolio. Its alternative investment framework since April comprises private equity (6%), absolute-return strategy (15%) and REIT (2%). Its latest action concentrates on the former two categories.
All five Louisiana retirement systems that have relied on the controversial Memphis-based investment firm Consulting Services Group have taken recent steps to distance themselves from the firm, with two selecting new outfits and the others in various stages of seeking new advisers, according to public records and pension officials. For more than a year, state officials and other observers have called for more intense scrutiny of how public pension boards manage their investments . But it took a bad bet on an unconventional investment -- pushed by CSG, which has come under fire from federal regulators in the past -- for that effort to gain much traction.
By now, it’s apparent 2012 went down as only a slightly better year for hedge funds than for the Jets. Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Global Diversified Hedge Fund Index returned 5.63%, a little more than one-third of the Standard & Poor’s 500's 16% return and well shy of the average annual return of 9.20% since 1995. That made 2012 the fifth-worst year for hedge funds of the past 18. Equity hedge funds did better with a 7.39% total return, still less than half that of the S&P 500. Since 1995, however, equity hedge funds have significantly outperformed the large-cap benchmark with an 11.6% average total return vs. the the S&P’s 10.5% average yearly showing. Their halcyon years were at the peak of dot-com bubble and its subsequent bursting; equity hedge funds outperformed in 1999's historic rally and gave back little of their gains in the bust.
Charles Simonian, a former portfolio manager at SAC Capital Advisors LP’s Sigma Capital unit, plans to start a long-short equity hedge fund, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. Simonian, 41, will open New York-based Trove Capital Management LLC in March or April, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. The fund will focus on industrial, consumer, media, telecommunications and business-services stocks with market capitalizations of $1 billion or more, and its capacity for assets is at least $1 billion, the person said.
Laven Partners chief executive officer, Jerome de Lavenere Lussan, has commented on the role of fund administrators in hedge funds, saying: "There is confusion in the hedge fund industry regarding the responsibilities of hedge fund administrators. Investors believe that administrators are responsible for providing valuation and accounting services to funds, in reality however the role of administrators is limited to the aggregation of data inputs when striking the NAV. In most cases the administrators are not questioning the pricing of underlying assets, leaving that responsibility to other counterparties, such as managers, brokers and auditors."
Hedge fund hot-shot Daniel Loeb, the founder of Third Point LLC, has made an estimated $108 million profit so far with his long position on Herbalife, the New York Post's Michelle Celarier reports. Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF), a multi-level marketing firm that sells nutrition products, is the stock that Bill Ackman has a massive short position on. Ackman, who runs Pershing Square, believes the company is a pyramid scheme and has a price target of zero. Not everyone agrees with Ackman, though.

UK fund manager eyes iCapital.biz (TheMalaysianReserve)
Article Source: Insidermonkey