Bloomberg News

Loeb’s Third Point Increases Yahoo, Sara Lee Stakes in 4Q

February 15, 2012

(Updates with amended filing in second paragraph and reduced stakes, new holding in third paragraph.)

Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Third Point LLC, the hedge fund run by Daniel Loeb, added to shares of Yahoo! Inc. and Sara Lee Corp. in the fourth quarter, according to a regulatory filing today.

Third Point, based in New York, owned 56 million common shares, valued at $903 million, of the Sunnyvale, California- based Internet search company at the end of the quarter, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. A separate filing today showed that Third Point now holds 68.9 million common shares of Yahoo.

The firm also raised its shares of Sara Lee, based in Downers Grove, Illinois, by 1 million shares to 7.8 million valued at $148 million as of Dec. 31. The hedge fund sold 1.45 million shares of its third largest holding, El Paso Corp., a pipeline company, and 4.25 million shares of natural gas company Williams Cos. Third Point reported a new holding of 300,000 shares of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. valued at $27 million.

Yahoo was Third Point’s largest position by market value as of Dec. 31. Third Point said today recently announced changes at Yahoo don’t put the company “on the right track towards maximizing shareholder value” and plans to nominate Loeb and three others for election to Yahoo’s board.

Yahoo’s Leadership

Loeb had written a letter to Yahoo’s board of directors in September, calling for changes to the board and Yahoo’s leadership. The hedge fund manager sent another letter to Yahoo’s board in November, demanding two board seats and asking co-founder Jerry Yang to step down as a director following reports Yahoo was considering a transaction with private equity firms. He sent a third one in December calling for the release of letters sent to potential buyers.

Yang resigned from the board and all other positions at the company last month, before Yahoo announced the departure of four other board members, including Chairman Roy Bostock, earlier this month. Yahoo’s shares have fallen about 9 percent in the past 12 months and declined 4.7 percent today following a report that the talks concerning a possible sale of its Asian assets have hit an impasse.

Sara Lee’s stock has increased 21 percent in the past year. The food company said last year that it was splitting itself up to boost value for investors. It was Third Point’s second largest holding by market value as of Dec. 31.

Third Point is an event-driven fund, betting on companies facing mergers, spinoffs and bankruptcies. Elissa Doyle, a spokeswoman for Third Point, declined to comment.

Money managers who oversee more than $100 million in equities must file a Form 13F within 45 days of each quarter’s end to list their U.S.-traded stocks, options and convertible bonds. The filings don’t show non-U.S. securities or how much cash the firms hold.

Hedge funds are lightly regulated pools of capital whose managers can invest in any asset, and share in annual profits.

--With assistance from Brian Womack in San Francisco. Editors: Rick Levinson, Steven Crabill.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alexis Leondis in New York aleondis@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rick Levinson at rlevinson2@bloomberg.net.


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