The Hedge Fund Manager That Impounded Argentina's Ship Is Now Going To War With Hess — Here's His Thesis On The Company

paul singer

Photo: World Economic Forum via Flikr

If you were looking for a break from the drama surrounding Herbalife, Bill Ackman, and Carl Icahn, look no further.Hedge fund Elliott Management has decided to take its battle to overhaul energy company Hess Corporation to the people, and since that hedge fund is owned by none other than Paul Singer, this will likely be a fascinating fight.

Singer is known for bold moves. Last October he convinced a Ghanaian Court to impound an Argentine naval vessel because Argentina owes him (and fellow hedge fund managers) over a $1 billion in unpaid sovereign debt.

In short, Singer does not play.

That’s why he’s set up a website — Reassess Hess— to lay down his argument for why Hess needs a major makeover. Elliott Management owns 4% of Hess common stock and they have five recommendations for what management should do to fix the company ASAP — elect 5 new board members (Elliott has suggestions on the site), refocus Hess portfolio via spin-offs and divestitures, improve operational focus, and instill capital discipline.

From Elliott:

Our investment in Hess Corporation is Elliott’s largest initial equity investment in its more than 35 year history. The size of the position reflects our conviction that, with proper oversight and guidance from the Shareholder Nominees, tremendous value can be unlocked. In this letter, we lay out our thoughts on how the board can reclaim shareholder value by refocusing the Company. However, our overarching point is this: all of the billions wasted, all of the operational failures, and all of the opacity stems from one central problem: the board’s failure to oversee management and hold it accountable for over a decade of failures.

Those are definitely fighting words.

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