James Dinan’s York Capital has been up throughout the year in most of its funds. York’s event driven/multi strategy allocation has declined only in Europe, where York European Opportunities which was down 0.1 percent in last month and is up only 2.5 percent for the four months.
However things are much better in York’s other funds, the flagship programs York Capital Management and York Investment Ltd, were each up 1.8 percent in April and have returned +5.4 percent YTD.
J.C. Penney Debt: York Capital Short Bet
James Dinan made news in March when he revealed that he was shorting J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) debt and believed that the company had a tough road ahead. Since then J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) has received a mix of good and bad news, the retailer got a new CEO, not exactly new since Myron Ullman had held the same position before Ron Johnson took the reins from him. Days after Ullman reclaimed the throne at JCP, the company welcomed a major stake from the noted investor, George Soros and later had a $1.75 billion debt deal at 7 percent approved by Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS).
These devlopments were good for long shareholders but bad for JCP skeptics like James Dinan. Towards the end of April, Moody’s further downgraded JCP debt to Caa1 which is essentially junk. Now we know that Chase Coleman’s Tiger Global also bought JCP in last quarter, his fund bought 5.35 million shares of J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) in Q1.
York’s second largest allocation, York Credit Opportunities was up 1.6 percent in April and has gained 7 percent for the year. York Capital’s Asian Opportunities Fund was up 3.6 percent in April and has compounded a +10.5 percent recent YTD. The combined assets of all four of York’s funds is now upto $12.5 billion, up from $12 billion at the end of March.