January 26, 2009
Dear Atticus European Fund Investor,
In recent discussions with many of you, it has become clear that the liquidity needs and risk appetites of some investors in the Atticus European, Ltd. and Atticus European, LP funds (together, the "European Fund") have changed in response to the current market environment. For many investors, asset allocations and investment position sizes may need to be adjusted to reflect this new environment. As a result, we recognize that the European Fund's directionally biased, equity focused investment strategy or an investor's current position size in the European Fund may no longer be appropriate or desirable for some investors.
In light of the current environment that many of our investors are facing, and given the liquidity in the European Fund's portfolio, I am writing to offer all investors in the European Fund a one-time special redemption right for their regular (non-designated) capital effective as of March 31, 2009. This offer is not prompted by any redemption pressure. For the current quarter, we have so far redeemed requests for less than 5 percent of the European Fund's total capital, and, in fact, external investors are only eligible to redeem less than 20 percent of the European Fund's total capital. Rather, this offer is prompted by my desire to ensure that the interests and expectations of investors align with the style and strategy of the European Fund. This offer is being extended to all investors in the European Fund (including all Atticus partners and employees) with the support and approval of the European Fund's board of directors and investment manager. I believe the European Fund is currently well positioned to meet the needs of all investors who exercise this special redemption right without any adverse effect on those investors who elect to continue with the European Fund.
As the Portfolio Manager and largest investor in the European Fund, I remain fully committed to the European Fund and its strategy. While I cannot speak for the other partners and employees of Atticus, each of whom is free to make their own decision, I do not intend to redeem any of my capital. I also remain committed to managing the European Fund for all current investors who desire to continue to invest along side me.
A substantial portion of the firm's assets are comprised of internal capital. I believe that under any scenario the firm's assets under management will remain significant, and my own capital in the European Fund plus other internal capital across all Atticus funds is more than adequate to support a talented investment team and infrastructure.
While there is no doubt that 2008 was a very disappointing year for the European Fund, it has always been the European Fund's approach to take investment risk in order to seek to achieve attractive equity returns. Over the long-term, the European Fund's long biased, European focused equity strategy has succeeded in generating in generating solid returns (over the past five years ending January 22, 2009, the European Fund has achieved an average annual return of 12.57% versus -1.93% for the S&P Europe 350 Index (€) and -2.83% for the MSCI World Index ($) over the same period). The European Fund's cumulative return since its February 2002 inception through January 22, 2009 has been 138.52% as compared to cumulative returns of -23.49% for the S&P Europe 350 Index (€) and -3.18% for the MSCI World Index ($). However, given the European Fund's strategy of typically being concentrated in a low number of high conviction holdings, our returns have also been very volatile.
It is my intention to continue the European Fund's mandate going-forward. While there is no question that there is significant fear, risk and uncertainty in the markets right now, I also believe that this is a time of extraordinary opportunity for the long-term equity investors who are willing to take risk and tolerate periods of volatility. Today we are faced with a very distressing macro-economic backdrop. the near-collapse or nationalization of many large banks and the consequent negative effects on the global economy are very worrying. However, the global stock markets have just experienced their worst year in living memory and, I believe, it is now possible to buy enduring businesses at very depressed valuations. The economy should, I believe, show signs of stability and recovery in the next 12-18 months and the equity markets should start to recover ahead of this. After the expiration of this special redemption right it is my intention to actively seek and consider opportunities to invest in the European Fund.
In order to better match the European Fund's capital structure and investment program for the current environment, we have decided to make the following changes to the European Fund's terms. Except as indicated below, the existing rights of continuing investors will not be changed.
* After the expiration o this special redemption right, all investors will be required to submit notices of redemptions at least 90 days in advance of redemption dates.
* The European Fund's limitation on net exposure to non-European companies will be eliminated. While the European Fund's focus has and will remain on companies with a European orientation, in an increasingly global economy, a hard limitation on European companies is no longer desirable or practical.
In lieu of cash, investors who exercise this special redemption right will also have the opportunity to transfer some or all of their investment into the Atticus Global fund or the Atticus Trading fund, both managed by Atticus founder and CEO Tim Barakett, while maintaining the loss carryforward (high water mark) of their current investment, subject to capacity limitations. Profiles providing an overview of each fund are included with this letter.
Investors may exercise this special redemption and transfer right in whole or in part. As with regular redemptions, we anticipate that investors who exercise the redemption right will receive 90% of their redemption amount in cash within 30 days after the redemption date.
Please note that the special redemption and transfer right does not apply to the "designated" (side-pocketed) Class M investment in Deutsche Boerse AG and only applies to the undesignated "regular" class of your investment. The Class M investment is unaffected by these actions. We know that many of you have questions about the European Fund's continuing investment in Deutsche Boerse. Please understand that the particular demands of that active and highly fluid situation limit what we can tell you, but you may rest assured that Atticus is committed to acting in the best interest of its investors as we hope the offering of this special redemption right demonstrates.
Accompanying this letter are instructions outlining the administrative details of this special redemption right and appropriate documentation for you to make your elections. You will need to communicate your decision to the Fund's Administrator, International Fund Services (Ireland) no later than their close of business on February 27, 2009. Please feel free to contact Atticus Investor Relations at +1(212) 256-8000 if you have any questions.
I am grateful for the support that our investors have shown over the years.
/s/ David Slager
Portfolio Manager, Atticus European fund
Vice Chairman, Atticus Capital LP