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The Morning Brief: Jeffrey Ubben’s ValueAct Takes Agrium Stake

Jeffrey Ubben’s San Francisco-based activist firm ValueAct Capital Partners disclosed a 5.7 percent stake in Agrium, the Canadian fertilizer company. In a regulatory filing, ValueAct says it bought the stock for investment purposes but did not lay out any plans, suggestions or ultimatums for the company. Agrium is no stranger to big, well-known activist hedge funds. In 2013 it successfully fended off a proxy fight from New York-based Jana Partners. Interestingly, ValueAct did not disclose owning any shares of Agrium as of the end of June.

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Cheviot Financial Corp. announced that it has agreed to appoint to its board of directors J. David Rosenberg, an individual who was recommended by Seidman & Associates, the Parsippany, New Jersey-based activist hedge fund firm headed by Lawrence Seidman. Rosenberg is being added to the class of directors whose term expires at the April 2016 annual meeting. Seidman, who specializes in taking activist stakes in small, regional banks, owns 7.98 percent of Cheviot, which has 12 locations in the Cincinnati area.

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Ziad Tabet, who formerly worked for Philippe Jabre’s Jabre Capital Partners, plans to launch his own firm, Amakor Capital Management in London, according to Businessweek.com. Tabet plans to run an event-driven strategy, according to the report. The fund figures to get off the ground sometime in the first quarter. Tabet also reportedly hired Sean Burnard, the former chief operating officer and chief financial officer of London-based Falcon Money Management.

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