• European event-driven money manager oversees $650 million
  • Peers declined 7% amid a record year for deal making

Polygon Global Partners’ European Equity Opportunity Fund returned 10.3 percent last year, according to two people with knowledge of the matter, as bets on acquisitions and restructuring helped it outperform peers.

The $650 million event-driven hedge fund has gained an average of 11 percent annually since opening in 2009, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the data is private. A benchmark HFRX Event Driven Index slumped almost 7 percent last year.

The fund is managed by Polygon founding partner Reade Griffith, 50, who declined to comment on the performance figures. He said in an interview that money-making trades included the merger of shipping companies Frontline Ltd. and Frontline 2012 Ltd., and Infinera Corp.’s takeover of Swedish networking-solutions provider Transmode AB.

“We were focused on restructurings in the periphery last year and those were profitable,” said Griffith. “We made money by betting against things as much as betting for things.”

Griffith said he was exploring deals offered by the restructuring of the Greek banking industry as well as businesses in Portugal, Spain and Italy. Polygon is looking for “situations where there is lots of pessimism and there’s an opportunity to restructure something in a way that provides opportunities to make money,” he said.

Event-driven hedge funds managed about $218 billion at the end of November globally, according to data from industry tracker Eurekahedge.

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