It looks like some hedge funds that bought Greek debt are going to make good money on their
investments. Under a deal struck Tuesday, Greece is expected to
buy back bonds for around 28 to 34 cents on the euro. This
would be higher than some investors paid for the debt in recent
months, including Dan Loeb's Third Point. In his third quarter
letter to investors, Loeb said he paid 17 cents for a strip of
Greek Government Bonds.
ConAgra Foods' agreement Tuesday to pay $90 per share in
cash for packaged food producer Ralcorp was a victory for shareholder activist Keith
Meister's Corvex Management. The Carl Icahn prodigy had
filed a 13D on Ralcorp in late August when he boosted his stake
to more than 2.8 million shares, or 5.13 percent of the total
outstanding, calling on the company to put itself up for sale
or be an acquirer. He also joined Ralcorp's board of directors
in October. Corvex's Ralcorp stake accounted for roughly 17
percent of its total U.S. equity portfolio.
Speaking of activist investors, Starboard Value, one of the
busiest hedge fund firms plying that strategy these days, is
turning up the heat on Office Depot. Starboard founder Jeffrey
Smith has enlisted the help of two retail icons to help him
figure out his next move on the stock. Starboard, whose
ownership stake now stands at 14.8 percent, said in a
regulatory filing it has hired Joseph Vassalluzzo and Robert
Nardelli as advisors. Starboard agreed to pay each of the
advisors an up-front fee equal to $40,000 in cash, which the
pair agreed to use to buy Office Depot stock. Vassalluzzo is a
former vice chairman of Office Depot rival Staples, while
Nardelli is the former CEO of Home Depot and Chrysler.
Gramercy Advisors LLC has launched a new distressed credit fund. The
$3.2 billion emerging-markets hedge fund firm, which is said to
have received $200 million from investors for the new fund, see
big opportunities from $1.8 trillion of emerging- market bonds
and loans that are poised to mature by 2016.