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The Morning Brief: P2 Capital Takes Activist Stake in Ebix

Little-known activist hedge fund firm P2 Capital Partners raised its stake in Ebix Inc. to 1.76 million shares, or 5.4 percent of the software company that serves the insurance industry. In a regulatory filing, the New York investor says it boosted its stake in the stock, which has a roughly $1.8 billion market capitalization, to beyond 5 percent “in order to obtain a significant equity position” in the company. P2 adds it has had or may in the future hold discussions with management, members of the board of directors and other shareholders and may make suggestions that it hopes would boost the stock’s value. These discussions may relate to the company’s operations, capital structure, strategic and extraordinary transactions, management and governance and other matters. P2 was founded by Claus Moller in 2007. It had a little more than $1 billion under management at the end of 2015.


Several hedge funds were big winners Monday after shares of B/E Aerospace surged more than 16 percent on news it agreed to be acquired by another aerospace supplier, Rockwell Collins. At the end of the second quarter, Highfields Capital and Corvex Management were among the top-ten shareholders. Corvex established its more than 2.7 million-share position during the June period.


Crispin Odey has certainly not gotten off to a good start in the final quarter of his disastrous 2016. His Odey European fund, managed by his firm, Odey Asset Management, was down for the month by 8.5 percent through just October 14, extending its loss for the year to nearly 43 percent. Ouch!


Balyasny Asset Management disclosed it owns more than 13.75 million shares of Oasis Petroleum, or 6 percent of the total outstanding shares of the energy exploration and production company as of October 18. The following day, Credit Suisse raised its price target on the stock from $11 to $12 following the company’s announcement that it raised about $520 million from an equity offering and plans to use the proceeds to fund a portion of the previously announced acquisition of SM Energy Company’s Bakken assets.

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