A group of prominent investors, including Bill Ackman from Pershing Square, Boaz Weinstein of Saba Capital Management, and Marc Lasry from Avenue Capital Group are pushing for the purchase of Sculptor Capital, which is the successor of the legendary hedge fund Och-Ziff, despite the fact that the fund had already agreed to be sold to another firm.
They gained a major supporter on Thursday. Robert Shafir is the former CEO and major shareholder of Sculptor. He told a committee advising Sculptor’s board that he did not support the July deal between the company and the real estate investment firm Rithm Capital.
This deal values the class A shares of the firm at $11.15, which is around 18% more than their value on the day they were announced. The shares of the hedge funds have dropped 60 percent in the last two years.
The latest consortium offer, made public on Wednesday, valued Sculptor at approximately $12.76 per class A share.
The consortium's offer, arguing that it is less certain to close than Rithm’s deal.
In a letter to the special committee, Mr. Shafir said that the consortium's bid was 'clearly better'. He said that it was 'not credible' to say that the consortium did not have enough funds to complete the transaction.
The future of Sculptor’s management team will be a key flashpoint, especially its chief executive James Levin. Mr. Levin was widely viewed by many as the heir apparent of Daniel Och, Sculptor co-founder and chief executive who stepped down in 2018. Two years after Sculptor had launched.
The United States agreed to pay $413 million to settle charges of bribery
But Mr. Och supported Mr. Shafir who was named chief executive
Mr. Levin took the reins at last
In April 2021,
The consortium has suggested replacing Mr. Levin.
This month, Mr. Och joined the chorus of critics of Sculptor’s deal with Rithm Capital. He wrote in a letter addressed to the special committee of the board that the deal'substantially underestimates' the company.
The criticisms of Mr. Och about the deal are based on distortions and false representations. The firm claims it "ran a robust sale process supported by world class legal and financial advisors."
A spokesperson for Sculptor didn't immediately respond to an inquiry for comment.