Yet another American hedge fund has ventured north of the border, keen on shaking up a Canadian icon.
The latest arrival is Scout Capital Management LLC, which revealed on Monday that it had accumulated a 5.5 per cent stake in Tim Hortons Inc. and has begun discussions with the company's senior management.
Here's what you need to know about Scout Capital: it is large, discreet and unafraid to roam widely in search of profits.
According to its latest filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the hedge fund manages a portfolio of holdings worth $7.8-billion (U.S). The roughly fifty companies skew toward consumer goods, with investments in firms like Anheuser-Busch InBev, Pepsico Inc., Procter & Gamble Co. and Whole Foods Market Inc. Also on the list: retailer Lululemon Athletica Inc.
However, the fund also takes positions in energy and technology firms. Earlier this year, it was one of several major hedge funds that dumped their bullish bets on gold, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Founded in 1999, the fund is bi-coastal, with offices in New York and California, and run by two portfolio managers, Adam Weiss and James Crichton. Both earned master's degrees from prestigious business schools and began their careers in finance at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, an investment bank.
A spokesperson for Scout Capital said it wasn't commenting further on its investment in Tim Hortons.
The firm likes to keep a low profile, even by hedge-fund standards, though it sometimes pops up in unexpected places (its investments have included an Australian railroad company and a Danish shipping and logistics firm). An overview of the firm's activities touts a "strong track record of working constructively with management."
The fund also appears to have a degree of patience. Mr. Weiss and Mr. Crichton stepped briefly into the limelight during an annual hedge fund conference in 2011 to share two of their best investing ideas. One of them was Sensata Technologies, a maker of sensors and controls that was formerly part of Texas Instruments. Nearly two years later, the fund still holds a chunk of Sensata shares.
(Joanna Slater is the Globe's New York Bureau Chief.)
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