Hedge Fund Activity In Norway: Passport Capital, Landsdowne Partners & QVT Financial ~ market folly

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Hedge Fund Activity In Norway: Passport Capital, Landsdowne Partners & QVT Financial

Hedge Fund Activity in Norway

Given that Market Folly covers hedge fund positions in US equities and in UK equities, we're always seeking to expand our hedge fund portfolio tracking coverage. Today we take you to the north European country of Norway. Every time noted hedge fund manager Julian Robertson has spoken in public recently he has sung the praises of Norway. We've covered Julian in-depth on the blog with his recent investment ideas from the Value Investing Congress, as well as his curve cap trade. In his recent FT interview he said that “It’s quite an amazing little country of great companies, great people and the proper type of, I’d say, spending by government.” Robertson pointed out that Norway also benefits from large oil resources and high per capita income.

With Robertson’s positive view on Norway in mind, we thought that it would be interesting to investigate whether hedge funds have significant holdings in companies that trade on Norway's stock market, the Oslo Borse. Large shareholdings of greater than 5 percent in companies registered on the Oslo Borse can be tracked through the Oslo Borse news service which is available in English and is free of charge. Readers that want to do further research on companies registered in Norway will find information on large shareholders can be accessed easily by entering the company name and selecting the “disclosure of large shareholdings” category.

So let’s get down to business and take a look at some of the companies that hedge funds are investing in via Oslo Borse.

Hedge Fund Company Ticker Date Shares %
Cheyne Capital Codfarmers COD 13/10/2006 858706 5.57

23/11/2007 n/a 10.58

15/05/2009 1,540,706 9.97

London based Cheyne Capital Management specialise in convertible bonds, credit and asset-backed securities, equities, and event-driven investing. As well as holding nearly 10 percent of Codfarmers outstanding equity, Cheyne also hold 20,000,000 convertible bonds which convert to an additional 492,610 shares. Taken from Google Finance - Codfarmers ASA is a Norway-based company primarily engaged in the cod farming industry. Its principal activities comprise the production and sale of cod and related byproducts. The Company has licenses for cod farming in different locations in two clusters, the Gildeskal cluster south of Bodo and the Kjerringoy cluster north of Bodo, Norway. The Codfarmers ASA sales and administration departments are located in Oslo. In addition, the Company is engaged in fingerlings production, fish production, packing, and filleting, among others. The Company provides its own marketing with employees in Norway, France and Spain that have direct contact with the customers. The Codfarmers ASA operates through two wholly owned subsidiaries, Cod Juveniles AS, Bodo and Cod Processing AS, Meloy.

Landsdowne Partners Ltd Cermaq ASA CEQ 14/03/2008 4,863,000 5.26

London based Landsdowne Partners are primarily focused on UK and European long-short equities, although they have branched out a bit in recent years into global macro and long-only products as well. Taken from Google Finance - Cermaq ASA is a Norway-based company active in the field of aquaculture. It is mainly engaged in the production of feed for and farming of salmon and trout. The Company operates through three business areas: EWOS, comprising the fish feed business; Mainstream, for the fish farming business, and EWOS Innovation, for the research and development (R and D) activities. In addition, Cermaq ASA has a number of investments in non-aquaculture companies, such as Norgrain AS, a trading company that sells raw materials for the Norwegian feed and meal industry and provides logistic services, its subsidiary Denofa AS, delivering soy bean meal, oil and lecithin, Hordafor AS, which processes bi-products from the salmon industry and Uniol AS, responsible for building biodiesel plant in Fredrikstad, Norway. Cermaq ASA is present through its subsidiaries in Norway, Chile, Canada and Scotland.

Passport Management Seajacks International SEAJ 20/12/2007 807590 6.16

13/06/2008 1,614,890 12.32

22/08/2008 2,425,490 18.5

QVT Financial Seajacks International SEAJ 22/08/2009 923,000 7.04

Both John Burbank’s Passport Capital and QVT Financial hold large stakes in Seajacks. We cover Passport in-depth, recently noting their research on agriculture, as well as their curve steepener play. We haven't however covered QVT Financial, a New York-based multi-strategy hedge fund. Launched in 2003, the fund was born from a proprietary trading group at Deutsche Bank. They invest globally across multiple strategies, including various relative value-driven equity strategies. Taken from Google Finance - Seajacks International Ltd (Seajacks) is a Bermuda-registered company engaged, together with its subsidiaries, in the marine services and operations in the offshore oil and gas industry. The Company owns and operates offshore lift-boat vessels in the area of Southern North Sea. It owns two harsh environment installation vessels, Seajacks Kraken and Seajacks Leviathan. The Company operates through five wholly owned subsidiaries: Seajacks UK Limited, a vessel chartering company; Seajacks 1 Ltd and Seajacks 2 Ltd, which are shipbuilding contractors; Seajacks Merman Marine Ltd, a crew recruitment services provider, and Seajacks Crewing Services Limited that provides consultancy services.

QVT Financial Scandinavian Property Development SPDE 06/02/2008 8668826 10.83

15/07/2009 137,776,826 17.66

QVT also have a large stake in Scandinavian Property Development ASA. Taken from Google Finance - SPDE is a Norway-based real estate company that focuses on the investment and development of residential and commercial properties. As of December 31, 2008, its property portfolio was comprised of three principal property projects in Norway and Denmark: Fornebu, Hinna and Odense. Fornebu is an area outside Oslo in Norway with a previous history as an international airport. It consists of residential and commercial properties, such as the Fornebu Senter shopping mall, as well as the K2 and Bilia office buildings. Hinna Park is a property project in the Stavanger region in Norway, including new infrastructure with railway station, Viking Football Stadium, approximately 600 houses and apartments and approximately 25,000 square meters of office buildings, among others. Odense is a part of a transformation in connection to Odense Harbor and Odense city center in Denmark, encompassing a total development potential of approximately 91,225 square meters.

That wraps up our glance at prominent hedge fund portfolio holdings in Norway. We'll continue to scour the globe for notable activity and in the mean time make sure you check out our coverage of hedge fund positions in
US equities and in UK equities.

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