STATUS: SOLENGO LAWYERS SAY THEY WILL SEEK TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER.
We’ll update this post with the latest Solengo Capital news as it breaks. If a court slaps a restraint order against us over the weekend, you’ll read it here first!
• Reuters covers the Solengo imbroglio once more: “Solengo hedge fund threatens court action vs blog.”
• Solengo Capital seeks court order against DealBreaker!
• Download the controversial Solengo Capital brochure while you still can!
• Our first post on the Solengo brochure.
• Everything we’ve ever written on Solengo Capital.
• Got questions or comments for DealBreaker? Email us at tips(at)dealbreaker(dot)com.
Elsewhere: Reuters, Kedrosky, Romenesko, DealBook, Gawker, Weiss, Primak, Distad, Elfenbein.
Archive for March 2007
STATUS: SOLENGO LAWYERS SAY THEY WILL SEEK TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER.
Remember the good old days? When it was all khakis and royal blue ascots? Girls in exotic ports and Spanish brandy? Old Warren Buffett singing “Yo, ho, ho and a bottle of tums”?
According to Bloomberg the good times are over:
There was little cheer at Baltimore-based Legg Mason when Miller returned from his late-December sail. Miller says there was no buck-up message waiting for him from his boss, Raymond “Chip” Mason. Nor were there condolences from his friend Warren Buffett.
Bill Miller better get that fund back in gear or we’re never getting aboard the admiral’s ship again.
Bill Miller, Mired in Worst Slump of Career, Embraces AES, Tyco [Bloomberg]
Lawyers for the hedge fund Solengo Capital say they will seek a court order barring DealBreaker from including its marketing brochure in our reporting. DealBreaker learned that Solengo will seek the order a few minutes ago when a a lawyer from Kobre Kim, which represents Solengo, called our Soho headquarters.
Solengo claims, through its lawyers, that DealBreaker’s coverage of the marketing materials infringes on the hedge fund’s copyright. DealBreaker believes that its use of the materials for news reporting purposes is protected as “fair use” under the copyright laws.
Solengo’s lawyers told DealBreaker they will seek a temporary restraining order against John Carney, Bess Levin, Elizabeth Spiers and “persons unknown” to prevent the continued publication of the brochure on the website.
Solengo Capital is a hedge fund started by traders from the collapsed Amaranth Advisors. It has reportedly been seeking capital from investors. Last night on CNBC’s “On The Money,” Charlie Gasparino said that he had heard much of the initial capital was coming from Saudis. The Solengo traders specialize in commodities, and are headlined by Brian Hunter, the energy trader whose bets on natural gas futures reportedly brought down Amaranth.
DealBreaker included the marketing materials as part of its reporting on the launch of the new fund. The quick return to the hedge fund world by traders associated with Amaranth has provoked interest and controversy. A combination of secretive habits and SEC rules intended to protect the public from predatory practices has meant that the public rarely gets to see the materials hedge funds use to promote themselves to their wealthy investors. The appearance of the brochure on DealBreaker’s website may be the first time many in the public have had a first-hand glimpse at the fund raising activities of a hedge fund.
A call to Solengo’s attorneys seeking further clarification went unreturned at the time of this posting.
This is officially getting exciting!
Update: Here is a link to the famed Solegno marketing brochure.
Update: We received a call from Kobre & Kim, Solegno’s attorneys, demanding one last time that we remove the brochure. We once again declined. They informed us that they intend to seek the temporary restraining order this afternoon.
Update: Read the latest Solengo Capital news on our special Weekend Update page!
Apparently Lloyd Blankfein wasn’t reading Dealbreaker the day we clearly laid out a bunch of alternative ways for the Masters of the Universe to spend their bonuses, back in January (the acquisition of hornymantee.com, 2 million Jim Cramer bobblehead dolls, an all-access pass to the Andrew Ross Sorkin Pleasure Palace, and so on and so forth). Radar reports that the old boy has purchased a $41 million home in Southhampton (which apparently retails for such a sizeable chunk of change because it comes with a name: “Old Trees”), on First Neck Lane.
Spread out on 10.6 acres, the estate boasts a clay tennis court, an ocean-view swimming pool, 13 bedrooms, a “cottage” (with its own pool) and a “barn” for entertainment. Stephen Schwarzman couldn’t be reached for comment, because he’s in the midst of planning a surprise hostile takeover of the property. On a related note, Tom Hudson has just agreed to go in on a summer share in hell.
Sachs’ CEO Drops New Money on ‘Old Trees’ [Radar]
Radar’s “Fresh Intelligence” reports that the billionaire money manager has been spotted in New York City, up to his old tricks.
The threat of jail doesn’t seem to be having much effect on Jeffrey Epstein. Earlier this month, a model ran into the billionaire playboy (and former Radar investor)—who is under felony indictment in Florida for alleged sex crimes—on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. The model asked what he was up to. Epstein’s bellowed answer: “Chasing pussy!”
A Dirty Old Man for a Dirty Job [Radar]
Fewer transactions but bigger numbers in the US mergers and acquisitions market means the battle for league table placement in the quarter just ending was especially hard fought.
Goldman Sachswas the top adviser for US mergers, according to the research firm Dealogic, boosted by its role in the huge TXU buyout offer. It was followed by Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan Chase. While Dealogic’s tallies aren’t viewed as important as those assembled by Thompson Financial, you can bet there is some back patting and grinning over at Goldman this morning.
And maybe, just maybe, Lloyd Blankfein put a little extra sugar in his Styrofoam coffee cup this morning.*
*This whole Lloyd loves the Styrofoam thing was, as far as we can tell, made up by Bess Levin. Factual accounts of how Bankfein takes his coffee—if at all—are always welcome. Goldman could not immediately comment on this matter when contacted this morning.
Merger market unfazed by market volatility [Reuters]
Earlier this week, we reported that Amaranth had offered it’s investors two options:
1. Agree not to sue us and we’ll get you your money faster OR
2. Don’t agree not to sue us and we’ll take a portion of the money you are owed and use it defending ourselves.
Sadly, though, thanks to what we can only imagine is a soulless, profiteering group known as SDCERA (the San Diego County Employees Retirement Association), that offer is no longer on the table. Full letter from Nick Maounis detailing the how’s and why’s, after the jump.
Blackstone may submit a bid for the Chrysler group as early as today, the Detroit News reported this morning. As of late last night no bids had been received, the paper said. Earlier reports had indicated that the bids were due on Thursday. Blackstone is said to be working with Centerbridge Partners on a joint bid.
So what happened to that Thursday deadline? In our experience, the people who actually work at private equity shops are loathe to submit bids on Thursdays, so this isn’t that surprising. The problem with the Thursday bid is that it gives the sellers all day Friday to consider the bid, and raises the possibility that a second round of bidding might start as early as Saturday or Sunday. A good Friday afternoon bid probably frees up the weekend, since a response probably won’t come in until Monday.
Chrysler suitors rush to make bids [Detroit News]
The Journal reports that UBS, toeing the party line, has cut 75% of its NYSE floor staff. Twenty three UBSers were notified that as of today, their presence would no longer be necessary (nine brokers, fourteen assistant/clerks). A spokesman for the firm feigned sympathy, noting that this was a “difficult decision” but not something he or his superiors would likely lose any sleep over, as “UBS continues to have a robust business in equities, trading more shares on major US exchanges than any other firm.” We don’t want to say the victims should’ve seen this coming, but maybe one should note that UBS is planning a return to its roots of
Nazi private wealth management. You do the math.
UBS Cuts Floor Staff at NYSE [WSJ]
Board of Directors
We have no doubt that a shareholder lawsuit is in the offing now that news has broken about the elevation on “Uncle” Ben—who presumably got his nickname from all his insider connections to the company on whose board he now sits as chairman. At the very least this calls out for an activist investor inspired proxy-fight.
From the New York Times:
Uncle Ben, who first appeared in ads in 1946, is being reborn as Ben, an accomplished businessman with an opulent office, a busy schedule, an extensive travel itinerary and a penchant for sharing what the company calls his “grains of wisdom” about rice and life. A crucial aspect of his biography remains the same, though: He has no last name.
No last name, huh? You want this guy running your company’s board? And are all those travel expenses really justified? We can’t wait to see this on Michelle Leder’s Footnoted.org.
Uncle Ben, Board Chairman [New York Times]