Morning Brief: Icahn Adds Two Nominees for Sandridge's Board

May 14, 2018   Stephen Taub

The activist investor has put forth a former Icahn Capital managing director and the head of John Corzine's family office as board nominees.

Carl Icahn is expanding the number of directors he is nominating to the board of Sandridge Energy from five to seven. The move is in response to the shale oil producer’s announcement on May 4 that it would expand its board from five to seven. In a new regulatory filing, the investor said he is now also nominating Jonathan Christodoro, a private investor who served as a managing director of Icahn Capital from July 2012 to February 2017. and Nancy Dunlap, private counsel and head of the private family office of former New Jersey governor and U.S. Senator Jon Corzine. In late December, Sandridge agreed to cancel its deal to acquire Bonanza Creek Energy due to pressure from Icahn.

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Boaz Weinstein’s Saba Capital Management said in a regulatory filing that as of May 3, it owned 5.21 percent of Ivy High Income Opportunities Fund, a closed-end mutual fund. The fund is currently trading at a 10.33 percent discount to its net asset value (NAV). The filing was made using form 13G, meaning the investment is passive. However, as we have chronicled numerous times, Saba likes to take activist positions in closed-end funds, hoping to coax the management firm to find some way to narrow or close that gap. We’ll watch to see if he converts the status of this filing in the future.

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Farallon Capital Management said in a regulatory filing that it owns 5.3 percent of Enanta Pharmaceuticals. The biotech company has a 1.9 billion market capitalization.

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Pershing Square Holdings is up 3.1 percent this month through May 9. As a result, the hedge fund managed by Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management trimmed its loss for the year to 2.7 percent. Pershing Square Capital Management also reported that it had a total of $7.8 billion at the end of April, down from $8.164 billion the previous month even though in April its funds were up between 2.7 percent and 3.4 percent.


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