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The Morning Brief: Citadel’s Ken Griffin Sets Real Estate Record

Citadel’s Kenneth Griffin has plunked down about $200 million to purchase several floors of a new condominium building in Manhattan in what CNBC.com says is the most expensive individual residential real estate deal in U.S. history. The Chicago-based multistrategy manager bought three entire floors — with a total more than 18,000 square feet — at 220 Central Park South, a 65-story building, which is still under construction. The purchase is for investment purposes, according to the report. Meanwhile, Griffin’s firm is looking for additional office space in Manhattan and reportedly leased 200,000 square feet at 425 Park Avenue, between 55th and 56th streets, which is now under construction. According to CNBC, Citadel is prepared to lease the space for $300 per square foot, setting a New York City record.

Griffin is in the process of divorcing his wife, Anne Dias Griffin, who according to published reports plans to move back to New York with the couple’s three children. The couple also own homes in Aspen, Colorado, Hawaii and Florida, according to reports. Last year, Griffin spent nearly $30 million to purchase two different full floor condos at the Waldorf Astoria in Chicago in separate transactions using separate corporate entities. Last year, Griffin was the highest-earning hedge fund manager on Alpha’s annual Rich List, earning $1.3 billion. He has personally made more than $3.1 billion over the past three years. This year, his firm’s two main multistrategy funds, Kensington and Wellington, are up 13.10 percent through August.

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Paulson & Co. favorite Cablevision Systems surged nearly 14 percent after the Bethpage, New York-based cable giant agreed to be acquired by French giant Altice, representing an enterprise value of $17.7 billion. The New York hedge fund firm founded by John Paulson was the fourth-largest shareholder at the end of June after boosting its stake by nearly 50 percent. It now owns about 5.60 percent of the shares. Paulson has been heavily playing announced or anticipated merger deals as it ramps up its risk arbitrage bets.

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Air Products & Chemicals, the second largest holding of New York-based Pershing Square Capital Management, announced plans to spin-off its Materials Technologies business to its shareholders. The air gases company hopes to complete the deal before September 2016. In a note to clients, Deutsche Bank says that while the deal is not surprising since it has been discussed for some time, the bank still views it “as a solid positive.” It expects Air Products to be paid a $2 billion special dividend, which DB expects will be used for share buybacks or acquisitions. Pershing Square is the largest shareholder with 9.57 percent of the shares. Other top holders include Greenwich, Connecticut-based Viking Global Investors and New York-based Och-Ziff Capital Management.

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