Fresh off its activist victory, Thomas
Sandell’s Sandell Asset Management is starting to
reduce its stake in Bob Evans Farms. The hedge fund firm sold
nearly 285,000 shares on six different days in the second half
of March, conspicuously lowering the stake to 4.9 percent. As a
result, it no longer needs to make timely filings when it sells
additional shares. The move comes two months after the company
agreed to sell its Bob Evans Restaurants business to an
affiliate of private equity firm Golden Gate Capital for $565
million, plus assumption of $40 to $50 million in certain net
working capital liabilities. The net cash proceeds are expected
to be used to repay current debt and to pay a special dividend.
Bob Evans is also acquiring Pineland Farms Potato Company. The
goal is to concentrate on its BEF Foods distribution business.
Sandell had been pushing for this kind of break-up for
several years. Shares of Bob Evans are up about 36 percent
since the company announced its series of transactions.
Highbridge Capital Management disclosed it owned 2.28
million shares, or 5.62 percent, of Capitol Acquisition Corp.
III as of March 20. The blank check company had gone public in
October 2015. On March 20 the parent company of Cision, a
cloud-based media company, agreed to a deal with Capitol
Acquisition Corp. III whereby Cision will become a public
company. The deal is expected to close sometime in the second
quarter. This is typically what blank check companies wind up
doing. On March 28 Cision announced it acquired Bulletin
Intelligence, which has created the daily "White House News
Summary" for the executive office of the president that has run
since 2001, and also provides custom executive briefings to
CEOs and other top executives at major companies.
Brigade Capital Management said it owned more than 683,000
shares of Ascent Capital Group as of March 20, or 5.7 percent
of the residential and commercial security company. At
year-end, the hedge fund owned 140,000 shares of the company,
as well as convertible notes.
Shares of hot IPO MuleSoft surged 2.6 percent to close at
$24.33. They are now up 43 percent since the enterprise
software company went public at $17 per share in March. The
stock had closed at $23.80 on its first day of trading. Already
Adage Capital Management and
Och-Ziff Capital Management each disclosed they picked up
more than 5 percent of the shares. However, hedge funds that
bought stakes of less than 5 percent are not required to
disclose their holdings until May 15.