Eddie Lampert

By day, Jeff Klaips manages a construction clean-up company in a Chicago suburb, but he’s also looking to make a pretty penny from the sale of BillAckman.com and WilliamAckman.com. He’s been trying to pique the interest of the Pershing Square Capital Management founder-or someone who’d like to use his name. Klaips already made a profit from EddieLampert.com, the name of the ESL founder. Inspired by seeing Lampert on CNBC, Klaips says he purchased the domain name on an impulse in 2004…On New Year’s Eve this past year, he received an email from an IT person who works for ESL and was looking to purchase the EddieLampert.com site. Klaips had initially asked $9,000 for the domain, but the hedge fund representative talked him down to $4,200…Ackman has not been willing to deal. [Absolute Return]

The Sears/ESL Investments CEO has chosen to antagonize his former investors rather than his continuing investors, paying out the former’s redemption requests with shares of a company he owns rather than in the cash they wanted, so as to avoid having the latter face a higher tax bill. Unfortunately, there were so many of the former, and he had to give away so many shares, that it is now no longer accurate to say that Lampert owns Sears. He now merely owns most of it.

Who else is looking forward to Sears’ annual meeting? Read more »

Eddie Lampert: Investor-Relations Wiz Kid

Curious about that surge in AutoNation trading volume this week? Well, I’m going to venture a theory, anyway: It may have something to do with ESL Investments’ continuing campaign to teach redeeming shareholders to be careful what they wish for. Read more »

The hedge fund billionaire will become CEO at the struggling department store chain Sears Holdings Corp, succeeding Lou D’Ambrosio, who headed up the company for around two years. Mr. D’Ambrosio’s departure was influenced by a close family member’s medical condition, people familiar with the matter said…”There’s a very big difference between being a CEO of a company and a shareholder or chairman of a company,” said Mr. Lampert, whose hedge fund ESL Investments Inc. controls 56.2% of Sears shares. But, he said, his longtime board seats at Autozone  and AutoNation have taught him a lot about retailing. [WSJ]

  • 12 Jun 2012 at 12:48 PM

Eddie Lampert Bids Greenwich Adieu

Eddie Lampert is relocating ESL Investments to Miami, according to a regulatory filing today. The move follow his purchase earlier this year of a seven-bedroom mansion in Florida’s Biscayne Bay for almost $40 million. ESL President William Crowley will not make the move “for personal reasons,” according to a spokesman for ESL. [Bloomberg Brief]

  • 30 Mar 2012 at 2:37 PM

When Lucky Brass Balls Fail

“Of the top 25 earners of 2010, 15 did not make this year’s list [of highest paid hedge fund managers]. Among them: Appaloosa’s David Tepper, whose Palomino fund fell 3.33 percent, and Edward Lampert of ESL Partners, which plunged 12 percent on big losses from Sears Holdings. Mr. Tepper did not respond to requests for comment. A spokesman for ESL declined to comment. Mr. Paulson — the $5 billion manager in 2010 — failed to make the list this time. One of his largest funds lost more than 50 percent, after bets on the economic recovery soured. A spokesman for Paulson declined to comment.” [Dealbook, AR, related: "Mr. Tepper keeps a brass replica of a pair of testicles in a prominent spot on his desk...He rubs the gift for luck during the trading day."]

As those of you’ve been paying very careful attention may have noticed, Wall Street is pretty into tech these days. Morgan Stanley is underwriting every single IPO available, Goldman Sachs has money in Mark Zuckerberg’s poking machine and LinkedIn is making Jim Cramer’s head explode. Hedge funds, however, want more. While Peter Thiel famously invested in Facebook way back when, and Tiger Global has poured cash into a whole bunch of sites, the industry as a whole wants a piece of these companies and not just after they become (alleged) successes.

A handful of hedge funds already had a history of such investments, but the activity has increased recently as investors try to cash in on the surging valuations of Facebook Inc., LinkedIn Corp., Zynga Inc., Groupon Inc. and a smattering of smaller companies…In the past 12 to 18 months, firms including D.E. Shaw & Co., Maverick Capital, Brookside Capital and Tudor Ventures, as well as hedge-fund investor James Pallotta, have joined Tiger in putting more money into promising yet risky tech companies. Starting last summer, Tiger began ramping up its investments in private companies in India, China, Brazil, Russia and other emerging markets. This year alone, it has invested in six Indian start-ups, including consumer electronics retailer LetsBuy.com, online fashion site Exclusively.in, and online bookseller Flipkart…Edward Lampert, the hedge-fund investor who controls Sears Holdings Corp., has become interested in private tech companies too. He recently assigned Daniel Levine, an analyst at his hedge fund, ESL Investments, to look for opportunities.

Sounds great, right? Well it would be except for the fact that some people are apparently too good for hedge fund money. Despite the fact that the firms are willing to throw hundreds of millions at them and open doors to sophisticated investors, these people are “suspicious” and skeptical of what hedge funds want and what their intentions are and whether or not they are literally the devil. Read more »