Another in a series of updates on Boston hedge fund holdings based on quarterly reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission this week. The filings report on stock holdings and some equity-based derivative positions, but not other kinds of investments.
It's hard to figure out what's going on at Baupost, a well-known Boston hedge fund, based on its quarterly SEC filing, because it invests in so many other things that go unreported. What's worth noting in the Baupost second quarter report is the big bet on SLM Corp., which is the holding company for student loan giant Sallie Mae.
Baupost did not own any SLM shares at the end of last year. By March 31, it acquired nearly 4 million shares. Baupost added another 350,000 shares in the second quarter, for a total of 4.3 million. The position, worth $248 million, is by far the biggest investment in the $986 million portfolio reported in the Baupost quarterly disclosure report (remember, that's its only the fund's stock positions).
SLM has been a volatile stock this year for a good reason. The company struck a deal to be acquired for $25 billion by private equity buyers in April, driving the stock price way up. Political and financial concerns have made some investors question how the SLM deal would turn out and the stock has slumped from its peak.