By Danielle Beurteaux
At the end of January, the Nielsen Company,
best known for collecting television viewing data, offered $250
million in convertible bonds as part of its $1.6 billion
initial public offering package. Last November, in the biggest
IPO in U.S. history, General Motors offered 87 million shares
($4.35 billion) of mandatory convertible junior preferred
stock, one-third more than originally planned, as part of its
$23.1 billion deal to go public.
Could these deals herald a new wave of convertible issuance,
and with it the rejuvenation of convertible arbitrage? After
all, that market has lost $90 billion since 2007. Convertible
hedge fund managers, shaken by the market’s
collapse in 2008, certainly hope so.
"The convertible market has undergone this significant,
positive transformation over the last several years," says
Tracy V. Maitland, president and chief investment officer of
Advent Capital Management, a New York and...