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The Morning Brief: Hess CEO Says ‘No Sacred Cows;’ Herbalife Registers Domain Names for Ackman; FRM Seeds Japanese Hedge Fund

Hess CEO John Hess has apparently taken a conciliatory approach with Elliott Management’s Paul Singer. He told analysts on Wednesday he would consider Singer’s suggestion to break up the company, saying there are “no sacred cows” among the directors. Singer said earlier he plans to nominate five directors to the company’s board of directors.


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Herbalife brings its battle with Bill Ackman to the internet. The health products marketer has registered nearly 10 domain names with the name “Ackman” as part of its name, including “therealbillackman.com,” Bloomberg reported. The names of Carl Icahn and Daniel Loeb, two hedge fund managers who either confirmed they are long the stock or are rumored to have been a buyer, were also recently registered under “therealcarlicahn.com” and “therealdanielloeb.com.” Shares of Herbalife fell more than 4 percent on Wednesday, to close at $37.09. The stock is now down nearly 20 percent from its recent peak but are still up more than 12 percent for the year.


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Mobile chip maker Qualcomm, a big favorite among hedge funds, easily beat Wall Street forecasts after the markets closed on Wednesday. The stock surged more than 5 percent in after hours trading, suggesting a strong opening on Thursday.


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FRM Holdings, a fund of funds acquired by Man Group last year, has agreed to seed a Japanese long-short equity hedge fund. It plans to pony up $25 million in a fund managed by Arena Capital Management, a Hong Kong firm founded last year by Toby Bartlett, who previously managed an Asia equity fund for Highbridge Capital Management in Hong Kong.


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Och-Ziff has agreed to pay about $126.42 million for a 9.2 percent stake in British insurer Phoenix. The company is expected to announce a big increase in its dividend payout.

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