Hedge Fund News Wrap: Week Ending 03/13/15

G.M. to Buy Back $5 Billion of Its Stock

(DealBook) – After a rough 2014 punctuated by a record number of safety recalls, the last thing General Motors needed was a prolonged proxy fight with unhappy shareholders.

So G.M. on Monday moved to defuse a potentially distracting battle with dissident investors by approving a plan to buy back $5 billion in stock that is intended to improve its stagnant share price.

The decision to dip into its cash reserves to finance a buyback came after weeks of discussions between G.M. and an investment group led by Harry J. Wilson, a member of the government task force that administered the company’s $49 billion bailout in 2009.

Last month, Mr. Wilson told G.M.’s chief executive, Mary T. Barra, that he was heading an effort by hedge fund investors to prod the automaker to share its $25 billion cash hoard with stockholders.

Read the entire article at DealBook
More coverage: The Wall Street Journal and FINalternatives

Argentina’s Last Vestige of Market Access Fades on Court Ruling

(Bloomberg) – The narrow window Argentina had to access bond markets just got a whole lot smaller.

While litigation with holdout creditors from its $95 billion default in 2001 has prevented Argentina from selling bonds abroad, the government has periodically tapped overseas funding by issuing notes under domestic legislation.

That may change after a federal judge in New York said Thursday that the local-law securities should be considered foreign debt and that Argentina can no longer make payments on them until the nation resolves its dispute with the holdout creditors, led by billionaire Paul Singer’s Elliott Management. Bonds sold under local law fell for a second straight day Friday.

Read the entire article at Bloomberg Business
More coverage: The Telegraph and The Financial Times

Ackman’s Pershing Square Makes $3.3 billion Bet on Valeant

(Reuters) – Billionaire investor William Ackman has purchased a five percent stake in Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX.TO) (VRX.N), his hedge fund said on Monday, making him the Canadian drug company’s fifth-largest stakeholder.

Ackman’s $20 billion Pershing Square Capital Management hedge fund began building up the $3.3 billion stake, only months after its vocal effort to help Valeant buy Botox-maker Allergan (AGN.N) failed, a source familiar with the investment told Reuters.

The source, who asked not to be named, said the fund would take a passive approach to Valeant, instead of pressuring it to change management or pursue strategic options, as it does with most of its investments.

Valeant spokeswoman Laurie Little said “we have a good working relationship with Pershing Square and welcome them as shareholders.”

Read the entire article at Reuters
More coverage: FINalternatives and ValueWalk