A couple of years ago, Paul Singer sent one of his deputies to California to start an in-house private equity strategy. Of course, Singer’s Elliott Management quickly rejected the idea that it was doing anything differently at all, because Paul Singer is an ornery old man who doesn’t like the implication that he has had to change, and also because it was true: Elliott had been doing private-equity-like things for years, and wasn’t doing that most private-equity thing of all: Buying publicly-traded companies, taking them private, loading them with debt and then taking them public again.
Now, don’t expect Singer to admit as much, but the fact is that the hedge-fund thing just hasn’t been panning out like it used to. Elliott is up 6.8% this year, but the average event-driven fund is up 5.9% this year, and Paul Singer does not like to be average, or even slightly better than average. Luckily, his Silicon Valley operation has gotten up and running just in time.
Elliott Management Corp, best known as an activist investor, announced its first agreement to buy a public company on Thursday, a $1.6 billion acquisition of network software firm Gigamon Inc….
Elliott’s private equity push, spearheaded by partner Jesse Cohn, could capture a lot of value for the firm if it successfully exits its acquisitions in the future, but it also involves bigger risks.