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The Morning Brief: Daniel Benton's Andor Zooms Ahead in August

Daniel Benton's Andor Opportunity Fund, managed out of Rye Brook, New York-based Andor Capital Management, posted explosive gains in August. The tech and Internet-oriented fund surged 13.9 percent in its Series A shares and 14.3 percent in the Series B shares. As a result, the fund is comfortably in positive territory for the year, by between 9 percent and 10 percent. At the end of June, Tesla Motors was Andor's biggest position, with more than 16 percent of assets. The stock rose more than 20 percent last month. Number two holding Twitter (11.1 percent of assets) jumped nearly 9 percent in August, while Facebook and Apple, which each accounted for more than 10 percent of assets, rose 3 percent and 7.8 percent, respectively.


Meanwhile, Tesla Motors continues to be one of the best stocks missed by most hedge fund managers, apart from Andor and a couple of others. Shares of the electric car maker surged 5.35 percent to $284.12 Tuesday after investment bank Stifel Nicolaus lifted its rating on the stock to a Buy and set a price target of $400 per share, asserting in a note that the company appears to have carved out a defensible niche in the global market for luxury electric vehicles. The stock has nearly doubled this year alone and is up five-fold over the past 16 months. Yet no hedge fund ranks among the top-10 holders and only one D.E. Shaw & Co. is ranked among the top-20 investors.


Compuware is the latest company to capitulate to activist hedge funds. Shares of the seller of business software surged more than 13 percent Tuesday after it agreed to be acquired by private equity firm Thoma Bravo in a deal valued at $2.5 billion. Back in February 2013, Compuware rejected a takeover offer from Paul Singer's Elliott Management Corp. It then agreed to a series of standstill agreements. Then this past January Compuware worked out a settlement with the activist hedge fund firm, agreeing to nominate two new members to its board of directors who have extensive technology industry experience. Under the deal, Elliott agreed to a limited set of standstill and voting provisions, including voting in favor of Compuwares proposed slate of directors at the March annual meeting.

Meanwhile, last November Jeffrey Smith's Starboard Value sent Compuware a seven-page letter detailing its plan for boosting Compuware's stock price. As of the end of June, Elliott was the largest shareholder, with 9.56 percent of the shares, followed by John Paulsons Paulson & Co., with 6.47 percent of the stock. Other hedge funds among the top-10 holders included Sandell Asset Management, Highfields Capital Management and York Capital Management.


Israel "Izzy" Englander completed his purchase of a Park Avenue duplex apartment in New York for $71.3 million, according to Bloomberg, which says this is a record price for a Manhattan co-operative apartment. The founder and chief executive officer of Millennium Management bought the apartment from the French government. The apartment is at 740 Park Avenue, where Englander now lives. The building was celebrated in the Michael Gross book "740 Park Avenue: The Story of the World's Richest Apartment Building." The Wall Street Journal initially reported the deal in June. Englander ranked sixth on Alpha's Rich List after making $850 million last year. He has made $4 billion in the 12 years he has qualified for the annual ranking of the highest earning hedge fund managers. Over the years the 740 Park address has been home to a range of powerful business and political figures, including John D. Rockefeller Jr., Henry Kravis, Ronald Perelman, Saul Steinberg and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

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