One year ago
»» SAC Capital Advisors founder Steven A. Cohen was reportedly considering taking a swing at a major bid for the New York Mets baseball team.
Though at that point he was considering a deal for up to 49% ownership, the billionaire eventually shelled out a relatively meager $20 million for a 4% stake. He was also disappointed in his quest to buy the Los Angeles Dodgers, who chose instead a local group led by former Lakers star Magic Johnson.
See also: No Amazin’ deal for Cohen, Lasry • Cohen dishes on markets, management
»» Hedge funds were “passing with a gentleman’s C” in the perennial test to stay above their high water marks. As an industry, 70% of all funds were above that all-important mark since 2008, and thus able to collect full performance and management fees.
The mixed bag of performance over the past year, however, has pushed the industry into “F” territory—by high-water mark metrics, at least. At 38%, fewer funds were above their post-2008 high-water marks last year than even at the height of the financial crisis. One solace: More than 90% of funds that manage $1 billion or more were above their high-water marks at the end of 2011.
See also: Survival of the Fattest • Half of hedge funds may not get paid in 2010 • Only half of hedge funds get paid in 2009
Five years ago
»» Eddie Lampert’s gamble on the Sears-Kmart merger appeared to be paying off, as ESL Investment’s stake in the combined company was worth $9.3 billion with shares trading at $195. Just two months later, then-$18 billion ESL opened up to new investments, looking to raise up to $5 billion more.
His patience to hold the stock over its subsequent years of struggles has kept ESL in the headlines (as AR asked in a recent feature, is the bet “so crazy it just might work?”). The firm now manages $6.7 billion, according to SEC filings. Of that, ESL owns approximately 38 million Sears shares at $54.50 each. The firm bought it at an average of approximately $15 apiece.
And Lampert himself remains heavily invested in the company’s success. He personally owns approximately 23 million shares, having added to his stake earlier this year.
See also: ESL’s Sears bet bounces on licensing speculation • Lampert hits back at ‘inaccurate’ report