Third Point Buys Rackspace, IAC, FMC Stakes, Exits Google

Billionaire Daniel Loeb’s Third Point LLC hedge-fund firm amassed new stakes in cloud-computing provider Rackspace Hosting Inc. and IAC/InterActiveCorp., while exiting Verizon Communications Inc. and Google Inc. in the second quarter.

Third Point’s holding in San Antonio-based Rackspace was worth $244 million at the end of June, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission today. Third Point also disclosed it held about 9.5 percent of Ally Financial Inc., with a market value of $1.09 billion as of June 30. The auto lender is Third Point’s second largest position after Dow Chemical Co., which it added also to.

While most of Third Point’s investments aren’t based on an activist strategy -- where the fund seeks to force management and boards to make changes that boost shareholder returns -- it’s those campaigns that attract the most attention. Loeb last year targeted companies including Dow Chemical, Sony Corp., CF Industries Holdings Inc., and Sotheby’s.

Rackspace rose 3.7 percent to $31 at 1:24 p.m. in New York, after slumping more than 20 percent this year. Elissa Doyle, a spokeswoman for New York-based Third Point, declined to comment.

Today’s filing also revealed stakes in Finisar Corp. and FMC Corp. among other new positions. Jana Partners LLC, the $10 billion hedge-fund firm run by activist investor Barry Rosenstein, also bought shares in FMC, a chemicals maker, during the second quarter.

Ally, the auto lender rescued by the U.S. government during the 2008 financial crisis, raised about $2.6 billion in its initial public offering during the second quarter. The U.S. provided about $17.2 billion to keep the firm alive and money flowing to carmakers during the depths of the crisis in return for a majority stake. The Treasury Department said today it will cut its 16 percent stake in the Detroit-based company. Ally shares have fallen 7.7 percent since the April IPO.

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