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The Morning Brief: Leon Cooperman’s Omega Rebounds

Leon Cooperman’s Omega Overseas is the latest hedge fund to report a sharp turnaround in February, gaining 6.74 percent for the month. As a result, the hedge fund, managed by Cooperman’s New York–based firm Omega Advisors, is up nearly 3 percent for the first two months of the year.


Richard (Mick) McGuire III’s Marcato International surged 8.80 percent in February and is now up about 2.4 percent for the year. It is managed by McGuire’s San Francisco–based Marcato Capital Management.


Pershing Square Holdings rose 6.2 percent in February. As a result, the public fund run by William Ackman’s New York–based Pershing Square Capital Management is up 6.8 percent for the first two months of the year. The fund holds 11 long positions and two short positions. It also has nearly $75 million invested in credit default swaps, according to its website.


Jeffrey Smith’s New York–based activist hedge fund firm Starboard Value is once again getting in the face of Staples even though the office supply chain has already agreed to merge with Office Depot. It seems Starboard, which owns 4.5 percent of Staples, thinks the soon-to-be-merged company’s projected synergy savings is too conservative, arguing it should be closer to $2.2 billion over the next three years.

“These synergies can be realized by reducing duplicate corporate overhead and advertising expenses, combining and optimizing the retail store footprint, reducing purchasing expenses, and combining Staples’ Contract and International businesses with those of Office Depot,” Smith states in a letter to Staples’ board of directors.


Sandell Asset Management is the latest hedge fund firm to launch a reinsurance business as a source of permanent capital to invest in its funds. Sandell Re, a Bermuda–based reinsurance company, will be managed in a separately managed account with an investment objective substantially similar to Sandell’s main hedge funds, the New York firm states in a press release.

“We have been evaluating reinsurance opportunities for several years and believe this offers a unique permanent capital vehicle for the firm,” says Thomas Sandell, founder & CEO of Sandell Asset Management, in a press release. Sandell Re is the fifth reinsurer to join the platform of MultiStrat Re, specialty Bermuda reinsurer.

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