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The Morning Brief: Paul Singer’s Elliott Reveals Latest Activist Stake

Paul Singer’s Elliott Management Corp. has taken a new activist position. The New York-based hedge fund firm disclosed that it owns about 8 percent of Informatica Corporation, a provider of enterprise data integration software. In a 13D filing, the hedge fund uses typical boiler-plate language, asserting that the stock is “significantly undervalued” but that at the moment Elliott has no plan or proposal for the company. However, Bloomberg reports that Elliott may call on the company to seek a buyer, preferably a private equity firm or another tech company, citing an unnamed source. The stock closed Monday up 6.8 percent, to close at $41.04.


Thomas Sandell’s Sandell Asset Management has turned up the heat on SemGroup Corp. The New York-based activist hedge fund firm sent a letter to the board of the transporter of oil and natural gas calling on the company to look for a possible acquirer, saying the stock is worth as much as $104 in a takeover.

“As long-time investors in the North American energy infrastructure industry and SEMG’s shares, we firmly believe there are a number of potential acquirers for the entire company at significant premiums to current trading levels given its highly valued asset base and pipeline of exciting growth opportunities,” Sandell states in the letter. He says the current price volatility in the energy market has “disproportionately” affected SemGroup’s share price due to its smaller market capitalization, lower liquidity profile and “unwieldy mix of assets.”


Omega Advisors’ Leon Cooperman disclosed that he boosted his stake in Altisource Portfolio Solutions to 2.26 million shares, or 11.14 percent of the total outstanding. Just last Friday the New York-based hedge fund manager disclosed a stake of slightly more than 5 percent in the controversial provider of real estate mortgage portfolio management. The stock rose 4 percent on Monday and is up 34 percent since January 13. However, Cooperman was hurt last year when the stock tanked in connection with the legal problems related to mortgage servicer Ocwen Financial Corp., from which Altisource was spun off.

Cooperman also disclosed in a separate filing that he bought about 3.2 million shares of Aspen Group, boosting his stake in the online education company to 9.9 percent. It was filed as an amended 13G, which means it is a passive investment. He also disclosed that he lifted his position in Gulf Coast Ultra Deep Royalty Trust by nearly one-third, to 22.2 million shares, or 9.66 percent of the total outstanding. The trust was created to participate in an overriding royalty interest in hydrocarbons in connection with Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold’s acquisition of McMoRan Exploration Co.


San Francisco-based Farallon Capital Management disclosed that it owns 7 percent of KLX, which distributes aerospace fasteners and provides services and products for the oil and gas industry. The investment was indicated as passive.

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