Tepper Joins Activism on GM; Not Worried About Greece

David Tepper, founder and hedge fund manager of Appaloosa Management joined the activism on General Motors. His firm supports the shareholder proposals of Harry Wilson to the automaker.

Wilson is a retired hedge fund investor and a former senior adviser to the Obama administration’s auto task force that helped restructure GM.  He sent a notice to the automaker indicating his intention to stand for election to become a member of GM’s board during its annual meeting. He is also pushing the automaker to buyback $8 billion worth of its shares in one year.

Wilson told GM that he represents Tepper and three other hedge fund managers that owned 2.2% of the outstanding shares of GM.

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A highly-effective advocate for shareholders GM’s board

Tepper’s hedge fund released a statement indicating that Wilson is a highly-effective advocate for shareholder to GM’s board. The firm said his proposals to the automaker are the “best means of enhancing shareholder value and addressing an excess accumulation of unproductive cash on its balance sheet.”

Appaloosa Management previously discussed a number of critical issues with the management team of GM including the need for greater discipline and efficiency in allocating shareholder capital.

The hedge fund also emphasized the lack of transparency regarding the automaker’s executive compensation program, and the need for greater shareholder-oriented representation on the board.

Tepper says market will survive despite Greece issue

Tepper is not worried about the current standoff regarding the bailout negotiations between Greece and the Eurozone leaders.

During a recent interview with CNBC, Tepper emphasized that a Greek debt deal is obviously good for the markets, but it could survive even if the country doesn’t reach an agreement with the finance ministers of the Eurozone.

Tepper forecasted that the stocks could drop around 2% to 4%, but pointed out that it is “not a big deal” and “the market will be fine this year.”

Last December, Tepper forecasted that the S&P 500 could still rise 8% to 10% this 2015. At the time, he said the index was “fairly valued.”  He believed that 2015 will be a good year.

Greece Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis presented four principles for new financing deal to its counterparts in the Eurozone. The country’s new government is seeking a deal that offers financial flexibility, financial sustainability and debt restructuring while addressing its humanitarian crisis.

On Thursday, Eurozone finance ministers said a compromise is possible on the future financing for Greece. The parties haven’t reached an agreement after Greece hesitated on a commitment to extending the current bailout program.  The finance chiefs will return to Brussels on February 16 to continue the negotiations. Greece is very optimistic that it would reach a new financial aid package.