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The Morning Brief: Millennium’s 13D Filing Not What It Seems

Is Izzy Englander’s Millennium Management becoming an activist? Don’t bet on it. Rather, a 13D filing by Millennium last week underscores the unique structure of the multistrategy firm. In its first initial 13D filed since June 2009, the New York hedge fund firm said it owns 8.3 percent of Liberator Medical Holdings, a medical supplies company. In the filing, the firm, which deploys some 170 or so individual trading teams, implies that the filing is more the result of the firm’s structure than an over-riding strategy to seek some sort of change at the company.

In the filing, Millenium explains that each team “independently employs a separate and distinct trading strategy,” suggesting they each may independently buy the same stock whose firm-wide total could trigger a filing if it adds up to 5 percent or more of the shares. Millennium notes in its filing that a slice of its position in Liberator’s stock may be managed by portfolio managers who engage in event-, risk- or merger-arbitrage or fundamental strategies. It adds that at some point one or more of the managers may hold discussions with third parties or with management and “may suggest” potential changes in the operations, management or capital structure of the companies in order to boost shareholder value. Hence, the 13D filing rather than the passive 13G filing. However, Millennium itself does not engage in these activities. Sure enough, Millennium subsequently disclosed that one day after filing the 13D, it had trimmed its stake to 3.93 million shares, or 7.3 percent of the total outstanding.

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London-based Toscafund Asset Management participated in the $128 million financing of Atom Bank, a U.K.-based fledgling online bank. This is at least the second investment made by Toscafund in Atom Bank.

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Leon Cooperman’s Omega Advisors nearly cut in half its stake in Atlas Resource Partners to less than 2.4 million shares, or 2.35 percent of the exploration and production master limited partnership (MLP). On November 23, Atlas agreed to slash its distribution to shareholders as part of a debt restructuring.

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