Friday, May 23, 2008

Icahn Boosts Stake in Amylin Pharma (AMLN) to 6.5%, Seeks Additional Talks

In a 13D filing on Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMLN), Carl Icahn disclosed he raised his stake in the company to 6.54% (8,959,919 shares), this is up from the 6,339,653 share stake Icahn showed in a recent 13F for the quarter ended March 31, 2008.

Icahn disclosed they he recently had discussions with the company's management and intend to seek to have further conversations with management and members of the board of directors to discuss ideas that may have to maximize product sales and development and to enhance shareholder value.

Icahn said he reserve the right to take whatever future action they deem appropriate regarding the company and its securities under the circumstances as they then exist.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Enzon (ENZN) Holder DellaCamera Capital Wants Banker Hired To Explore Sale of Commercial Operations

In an amended 13D filing on Enzon Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: ENZN) this morning, 5.9% holder DellaCamera Capital disclosed a letter to the company saying while they are encouraged by the recently announced plan to spin-off its biotechnology business, the company must take the next logical step and explore all strategic alternatives for the Company's remaining commercial operations, including the sale of the commercial operations as a whole. DellaCamera demanded Enzon formally engage its advisor Goldman Sachs, or another investment banking firm, to assist in this process.

DellaCamera said, "the significant cash-generating ability of the commercial operations makes them highly financeable and the synergies that a strategic buyer could bring to the mix are significant." The said a myriad of creative transactions that could be effected.

DellaCamera said Enzon's cost structure is inordinately high and they believe that there are at least $25 million of excess SG&A expenses that could be eliminated should the Company pursue a rationalization of its commercial operations. DellaCamera also said the compensation of the top-five executives seem excessive.

DellaCamera also said they want assurances that the Company will not use the biotechnology business spin-off as a defense mechanism to discourage potential buyers from seeking to purchase the entire Company.

Activist investor Carl Icahn has also been involved with Enzon.

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Monday, May 19, 2008

Steel Partners Wants to Buy More Conseco (CNO) Shares

In an amended 13D filing on Conseco Inc. (NYSE: CNO), 9.8% holder Steel Partners II disclosed a letter to the company saying they believe the shares are undervalued and said they are interested in purchasing additional Shares.

The firm said, "We, with the support of Conseco, would like to acquire the maximum number of Shares allowable without limiting Conseco's ability to fully realize the benefits of its net operating loss carryforwards ("NOL"). We believe that the NOL is an extremely valuable asset to Conseco and do not wish to cause an annual limitation on the utilization of the NOL. We believe, based on Conseco's public filings, that we can increase our percentage ownership up to 22% of the outstanding Shares (the "NOL Threshold"). We seek the Board's support for us to acquire the Shares using a "modified Dutch auction" structure with a pricing range of $12.50 to $14.00 per Share. By conducting a tender offer, we would provide liquidity to any shareholders who desire to sell their positions in a manner that treats all shareholders equally and fairly. We may also acquire additional Shares in the open market following the tender offer to the extent there is additional availability without compromising the NOL."

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Friday, May 16, 2008

Buffett's Latest 13F is Out - Ups Stake in KFT, IR, UNH and More

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway issued their latest 13F for the for the quarter ended March 31, 2008.

Buffett raised his stake in Kraft Foods (NYSE: KFT) from 132,393,800 shares to 138,272,500 shares, Ingersoll-Rand Co. Ltd. (NYSE: IR) from 636,600 shares to 936,600 shares and Unitedhealth Group, Inc. (NYSE: UNH) from 6,000,000 shares to 6,400,000 shares, among others.

Buffett lowered his stake in Iron Mountain Inc. (NYSE: IRM) from 4,663,900 shares to 3,372,200 shares, among others.

Here is a link to a complete summary of the filing and changes.

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Elliott Associates Discloses 5.5% Stake in MSC.Software (MSCS), Wants A Sale Considered

In a 13D filing on MSC.Software (Nasdaq: MSCS), Elliott Associates, L.P. disclosed a 5.5% stake (2,477,465 shares) in the company. (9.2% collectively with Elliott, Elliott International and EICA).

Elliott Associates has communicated to the company their belief that they should consider exploring strategic alternatives, including a sale.

MSC.Software Corporation and its subsidiaries engage in the development, marketing, and support of simulation software and related services

Elliott Associates is a $9.8 billion New York-based hedge fund founded by Paul Singer. The fund has beaten the S&P 500 for 30 years.

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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Icahn Accumulates Another 27 Million Motorola (MOT) Shares, Brings "Friendly" Stake to 7.6%

In an amended 13D filing (#4) earlier today on Motorola (NYSE: MOT), Carl Icahn disclosed he raised his stake in the company to 7.6%, or 172,176,804 shares. This is up from the 6.4% stake (144,562,000 share) Icahn disclosed in a past filing.

In April, MOT entered into an agreement with Icahn to avoid a proxy fight. Under the agreement William R. Hambrecht, founder, chairman and chief executive officer of WR Hambrecht + Co. and co-founder of Hambrecht & Quist, and Keith Meister, a managing director of the Icahn investment funds and principal executive officer of Icahn Enterprises, will be nominated for election to Motorola's Board of Directors at the 2008 Annual Meeting of Shareholders and included in the Company's 2008 proxy statement. In addition, Mr. Meister has been appointed to serve on the Board, effective immediately.

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Monday, May 05, 2008

Blum Capital Boosts Stake in Symmetry Medical (SMA) to 8.6% - 13D

In a 13D filing on Symmetry Medical, Inc. (NYSE: SMA), Blum Capital disclosed an 8.6% stake (3,059,404 shares) in the company. The firm held 1,659,404 shares at the quarter ended 12/31/07.

In a pretty standard disclosure, Blum Capital did not make any direct requests on Symmetry Medical, but said they will monitor their investment and may enter discussions with management, the Board of Directors or others. Blum may discuss ideas that, if effected may result in any of the following: the acquisition by persons of additional Common Stock of the Issuer, an extraordinary corporate transaction involving the Issuer, and/or changes in the board of directors or management of the Issuer.

Blum Capital Partners is a $2.8 billion investment firm based in San Francisco. The firm makes strategic block and control investments in public and private transactions. The firm's investment strategy combines the private equity process applied to the public markets along with an ability to play a constructive and active role in unlocking value from portfolio companies through the implementation of financial, operational and governance initiatives.

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