Not that billionaire Dan Loeb needs the money, but the hedge fund titan could be a bit richer today had he invested in the Clint Eastwood-directed “American Sniper” when given the chance.
Loeb was friendly with former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, the subject of the Oscar nominated movie based on Kyle’s best-selling memoir of the same title. Kyle was shot and killed in 2013 by a Marine veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.
According to Bloomberg, Loeb was introduced to Chris Kyle years ago by J. Kyle Bass, a hedge fund manager and longtime friend of Loeb’s who had allowed Kyle to live at his Texas ranch, where the famed sniper taught marksmanship.
Loeb and Bass helped Kyle in his transition to civilian life, according to Scott McEwen, a co-author of Kyle’s book with Jim DeFelice.
During a Barefoot Economic Summit, an investor conference Bass hosts at his Texas home, Kyle taught Loeb to shoot.
After the two became friendly, “Loeb encouraged Kyle to pursue a movie version of his 2012 book, ‘American Sniper,'” Bloomberg reports. “Loeb also introduced Kyle to Peter Morgan, a prep-school friend of the hedge-fund manager who went on to produce the film. Loeb introduced the veteran to Hollywood agents, who helped him negotiate movie rights, as well.”
But Loeb’s help only went so far. The founder of Triple Point Capital declined an early offer to put $US250,000 into “American Sniper,” a source revealed to Bloomberg.
Loeb did, however, invest $US25,000 in Kyle’s Craft International LLC, a security-training business, but the company filed for bankruptcy-court protection last year, so he isn’t seeing much a return.
Loeb, who declined comment to PageSix on his own marksmanship skills, responded in a statement to Bloomberg, saying: “Even though we lost our cash investment in Craft, we got paid back multiple times over by having the privilege to know Chris and helping out an American hero.”
“American Sniper” is currently breaking box-office records by earning more than $US264 million worldwide since its Dec. 25 release. The film was made for an estimated $US58.8 million, meaning it will likely be hugely profitable for investors.
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