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The Morning Brief: Marcato Claims Victory in Proxy Fight

The San Francisco activist said preliminary tallies show that shareholders of Buffalo Wild Wings elected three of Marcato’s four nominees to the board.

Score this a partial victory for Marcato Capital Management. The San Francisco activist said preliminary tallies show that shareholders of Buffalo Wild Wings elected three of Marcato’s four nominees — Scott Bergren, Sam Rovit and Mick McGuire — to the board of directors. “We are very pleased that our fellow … shareholders recognize that additional change on the Board is warranted to return Buffalo Wild Wings to a path of growth and long-term value creation,” said McGuire, Marcato’s managing partner, in a statement. “We will bring the fresh perspectives, restaurant industry expertise and oversight.”

Separately, the casual dining chain announced that chief executive officer Sally Smith had resigned. Shares of Buffalo Wild Wings rose 1.7 percent Friday to close at $153.35. The stock is up nearly 13 percent from its recent low in October, but still down 12 percent from its high of $175 in early December. Marcato owns 9.9 percent of the shares.

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Och-Ziff Capital Management Group’s OZ Master Fund posted a 1.31 percent gain in May, boosting the multistrategy fund’s return this year to 6.15 percent. OZ Asia Master Fund surged 3.72 percent last month, and is now up 12.45 percent for the year. OZ Europe Master Fund rose 0.69 percent for the month and 3.24 percent for the first five months of the year. Och-Ziff also disclosed that in the past month assets under management rose by about $400 million, to $32.4. Quick math suggests this mostly reflects the performance gains for the month. Of course, the firm is less likely to see mass redemptions in the middle of a quarter.

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Viking Global Investors co-led the $52 million Series C financing of Deciphera Pharmaceuticals, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on addressing tumor drug resistance. “The proceeds will enable Deciphera to advance its pipeline of novel oncology products into later-stage clinical development,” the company said in a press release.

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Adage Capital Management boosted its stake in Protagonist Therapeutics by nearly 40 percent, to a little more than 2.2 million shares, or 12.2 percent of the total outstanding as of May 30. Protagonist is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company which mostly focuses on developing oral peptide drugs. Adage also said that as of May 25 it had more than doubled its stake in Sangamo Therapeutics to 4 million shares, or 5.56 percent of the company, which is seeking to develop genomic therapies.

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