A recent story in USA Today: “Apple becomes a hedge fund target.” It seems that George Soros doubled his stake in Apple to 66,800 shares. Carl Icahn revealed earlier with a tweet that he is building up a big position as well.
Soros and Icahn are just the latest in the wave of large hedge funds and their billionaire founders buying stock in public companies. What’s news is that they are no longer confining their moves to smaller companies. According to USA Today, “The percentage of companies that activists are targeting valued at more than $1 billion is 29%. If that pace holds it would be a 45% jump from 2012, FactSet data show.”
At this point you may be reading to satisfy your curiosity about the big egos and big bucks involved. Ackerman and Soros bought into JC Penney, and now Ackerman has left the board. Soros is facing Ackerman on Herbalife, where Soros went long and Ackerman went short. Fascinating; boys and their toys. But if you stop to reflect for a minute, you may realize this is much more significant than rich folks playing. In fact, I claim, we are entering the Third Revolution in the history of public companies, thanks to the much-maligned hedge funds. A much-needed revolution, too. …
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