ValueAct Capital Aims to Raise $1.5 Billion in New Funds

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ValueAct Capital, the activist hedge fund managed by Jeffrey Ubben is planning to raise as much as $1.5 billion in new funds, according to report from Wall Street Journal.

Ubben’s hedge fund is among the activist investors who entered the fundraising activity this year. Daniel Loeb’s Third Point LLC and Nelson Petz’s Trian Fund Management are also raising new capital from investors.

ValueAct wants investors to agree to a lock-up of 3-5 years

Valueact Capital has not raised new capital from investors over the past several years.  The activist hedge fund wants investors to agree to keep their money with the firm for a period of three to five years, according the report.

People close to ValueAct Capital indicated that the hedge fund could use the additional capital to raise its stake on existing investments or to invest in new companies. The people said the firm has new targets in mind.

The activist hedge fund generally works behind the scenes with the management of companies where it has investment to push for changes to enhance value for shareholders over the long-term.

ValueAct gained attention from Microsoft investment

ValueAct Capital gained attention after obtaining a board set at Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) despite the fact that its stake in the software giant was only less than 1% last year. It was the first time for Microsoft to allow and activist investor to become a member of its board.

Back then, one of the issues raised by the activist hedge fund during its negotiations with the leadership of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) was its lack of succession plan for the CEO position. The software giant said the decision of Steve Ballmer to step down from his position has nothing to do with the pressure from ValueAct Capital.

ValueAct Capital acquires huge stake in Agrium

ValueAct Capital recently acquired a huge stake in Agrium Inc. (NYSE:AGU) (TSE:AGU).  Agrium CEO Chuck Magro stated that the activist hedge fund is not making upfront, big demands, a sign that their initial discussion was amicable.

“We’ve had very good two-way dialogue. So far, what they’re telling me is the reason they’ve invested in Agrium is they like the strategic plan,” said Magro during an interview with Reuters.

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